Barclays profit up 8%, bad debts almost double

Barclays profit up 8%, bad debts almost double

London: Barclays Plc fell short of expectations with an 8% rise in half-year profit as bad debts at Britain’s second biggest bank almost doubled to offset buoyant earnings from its enlarged investment bank.

Barclays on Monday reported a pretax profit in the six months to the end of June of £2.98 billion, up from £2.75 billion a year ago but below the average analyst forecast of £3.5 billion from seven analysts polled by Reuters.

Trends seen in the first half continued in July and the bank said the difficult environment would remain.

Barclays Capital, the investment bank arm, reported a £4.68 billion writedown on credit market exposures, including impairment on loans of £1.17 billion.

Another £3.39 billion in other group impairments and credit provisions took total impairments to £4.56 billion, up 86% from £2.45 billion a year ago.

That dragged profit in UK retail banking down 61% to £268 million and knocked its commercial bank profits 42% lower to £404 million.

Barclays Capital profit doubled from a year ago to £1.05 billion from £524 million, thanks to its acquisition of Lehman Brothers in the US and strong debt, currency and commodities revenues.