Barclays swings to loss on Africa write-down

A Barclays Bank branch signboard is pict

Barclays has been hit with costs from PPI claims and lost income from its Africa business

Factoring in a £1.4 billion loss on the sale of 33.7% of Barclays Africa Group, and a further £1.1 billion charge linked to the disposal, the bank recorded an attributable loss of £1.2 billion for the half-year, however.

The British bank's second-quarter net loss was £1.4 billion ($1.83 billion) compared with a profit of £433 million a year ago.

In addition to the Africa divestment, Barclays also offloaded some of assets considered non-core to the business during the period.

As part of its strategy to refocus on its main operations in the United Kingdom and the US, Barclays cut its majority shareholding in Barclays Africa Group to a level that allows it to apply for regulatory deconsolidation.

"We are now a clean bank, restructuring is over", he added.

In his statement to accompany the results, Barclays chief executive Jes Staley asserted that the restructuring "is now at an end" and brings forward the date at which "shareholders can benefit from the full earnings power of this business".

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Staley also explained the bank had set aside an additional £700 million in order to meet compensation claims for mis-selling payment protection insurance in the United Kingdom.

Revenue in Barclay's investment bank slipped 5 per cent to £2.6bn, but revenue rose 18 per cent in its credit trading division.

Barclays left its dividend unchanged at 1.0p per share.

The sale of the Africa unit boosted the bank's core capital ratio, a key measure of financial strength and a source of concern for Barclays in recent years, to 13.1%.

The lender has been undergoing a major restructuring to focus on its core United Kingdom and USA business.

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