Barclays down 6.5% after warning of fourth-quarter cost-cutting charges

A view of the Canary Wharf financial district of London.
Prisma by Dukas | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

LONDON — Barclays on Tuesday reported a net profit of £1.27 billion ($1.56 billion) for the third quarter, slightly ahead of expectations as strong results in its consumer and credit card businesses compensated for weakening investment bank revenues.

Analysts polled by Reuters had produced a consensus forecast of £1.18 billion, down from £1.33 billion in the second quarter and £1.51 billion for the same period in 2022.

Here are other highlights for the quarter:

  • CET1 ratio, a measure of banks’ financial strength, stood at 14%, up from 13.8% in the previous quarter.
  • Return on tangible equity (RoTE) was 11%, with the bank targeting upwards of 10% for 2023.
  • Group total operating expenses were down 4% year-on-year to £3.9 billion as inflation, business growth and investments were offset by “efficiency savings and lower litigation and conduct charges.”

Barclays CEO C.S. Venkatakrishnan said the bank “continued to manage credit well, remained disciplined on costs and maintained a strong capital position” against a “mixed market backdrop.”

“We see further opportunities to enhance returns for shareholders through cost efficiencies and disciplined capital allocation across the Group.”

Barclays will set out its capital allocation priorities and revised financial targets in an investor update alongside its full-year earnings, he added.

Barclays’ corporate and investment bank (CIB) saw income decrease by 6% to £3.1 billion, with the bank citing reduced client activity in global markets and investment banking fees.

This was mostly offset by a 9% revenue increase in its consumer, cards and payments (CC&P) business to £1.4 billion, reflecting higher balances on U.S. cards and a transfer of the wealth management and investments (WM&I) division from Barclays U.K.

The bank did not announce any new returns of capital to shareholders after July’s £750 million share buyback announcement.

Barclays hinted at substantial cost cutting that will be announced later in the year, mentioning in its earnings report that the group is “evaluating actions to reduce structural costs to help drive future returns, which may result in material additional charges in Q423.”

The cost-income ratio in the third quarter was 63%, but the bank has set a medium-term target of below 60%.

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