UK bank Barclays profits from rising interest rates

UK bank Barclays profits from rising interest rates

British bank Barclays reported a strong rise in net profit in the first quarter, boosted by rising interest rates
British bank Barclays reported a strong rise in net profit in the first quarter, boosted by rising interest rates. Photo: Justin TALLIS / AFP/File
Source: AFP

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British bank Barclays said Thursday that net profit jumped 27 percent in the first quarter, boosted by rising interest rates and non-repetition of exceptional charges.

Profit after tax increased to £1.8 billion ($2.2 billion) compared with the first three months of 2022, when earnings were hit by litigation and bad debt costs, it said in a statement.

Barclays was "supported by higher interest rates and the continued investment in our transformation into a next-generation, digitised consumer bank", the lender added.

Pre-tax profit rallied 16 percent to £2.6 billion, comfortably beating market expectations and making Barclays the biggest gainer on London's top-tier shares index Thursday.

The Bank of England and its global counterparts have ramped up interest rates to tackle sky-high inflation.

It comes as Britain endures a cost-of-living crisis, with annual inflation holding stubbornly above 10 percent.

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Retail banks in turn have raised their own interest rates on loans, including mortgages, further fuelling the squeeze on living costs.

Barclays' first-quarter revenue rallied 11 percent to £7.2 billion.

"This is a strong first quarter," chief executive C.S. Venkatakrishnan said in the earnings release.

"The momentum across the group allows us to maintain a robust capital position, deliver attractive returns to shareholders, and support our customers and clients through an uncertain economic environment."

Barclays' share price gained almost five percent in morning London deals.

"There can be little cause for complaint on a set of numbers which have both grown and beaten expectations virtually across the board," said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.

"The diversity of the group's businesses is a boon to Barclays."

The results followed news in March that Venkatakrishnan had completed treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a rare form of cancer, and was in remission.

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Source: AFP

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