Sat, Jul 28, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Barclays’ profits top US$6.6 billion

Reuters, LONDON

British bank Barclays PLC said it was confident it would repair the damage caused by an interest rate-rigging scandal that has rocked it and the banking industry after beating expectations with a £4.2 billion (US$6.6 billion) profit.

“We are sorry for the issues that have emerged over recent weeks and recognize that we have disappointed our customers and shareholders,” Barclays chairman Marcus Agius said.

“I am confident we can, and will, repair the reputational damage done to our business in their eyes and those of all our stakeholders,” Agius said, reaffirming a commitment to deliver a return on equity of 13 percent.

Barclays reported an underlying pretax profit of £4.2 billion for the six months to the end of last month, above an average forecast of £3.8 billion from analysts polled by the company and up 13 percent from a year ago.

The bank is searching for a new chief executive and chairman after they quit in the wake of a record £290 million fine last month for rigging the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) interest rate benchmark, sparking fierce criticism about its culture and risk-taking.

Barclays’ investment bank fared better than most rivals in a tough second quarter, with income of £3 billion, up 5 percent from a year ago and down 12 percent on the first quarter.

However, the bank is reviewing all parts of its investment bank, people familiar with the matter said, and the LIBOR scandal has intensified calls for it to shrink the business. The bank also said it faced a bill of £450 million to pay compensation to customers misled about interest rate hedging products to small businesses.

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