March 4, 2024

The headquarters of Barclays Bank outside the Docklands Light Rail station at West India Quay in the financial district of Canary Wharf in London, Britain, Monday, March 20, 2023.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

London – barclays bank First-quarter net profit reported on Thursday was 1.78 billion pounds ($2.2 billion), beating expectations and up 27 percent from a year earlier.

A Reuters poll of analysts had forecast a net profit of 1.432 billion pounds.

On a branch basis, revenue in the bank’s consumer, credit card and payments divisions rose 47%, making up for a meager 1% rise in its corporate and investment banking division.It attributes this in part to its get Credit card portfolio for retailer Gap.

Barclays UK revenue rose 19% on higher net interest income.

The bank also flagged a £500m credit-impairment charge, which it said was due to rising US credit card balances and “an expected continued normalization of US credit card delinquency rates”.

Businesses use impairment charges to write off assets. In previous results, Barclays said it set aside £1.2bn for such charges last year as its clients struggled under cost pressure.

Shares in Barclays were up 4.3% at 8:55 a.m. London time.

Analysts at Jefferies said the “strong” results indicated room for a consensus upgrade, with “not much room to quibble.”

On track

Barclays said it “remained on track to meet its 2023 targets in the first quarter, with all performance measures in line with or ahead of guidance”.

Chief executive CS Venkatakrishnan called it a “strong” quarter, with revenue up 11% to £7.2bn.

“The momentum across the group enables us to maintain a solid capital position, deliver attractive returns to shareholders and support our clients in an uncertain economic environment,” he said in a statement.

The results follow a turbulent period for the global banking industry, which saw US-based Silicon Valley Bank and several other regional banks quickly took over in early March credit suisse Swiss rival UBS AG.

Earlier Thursday, Deutsche Bank reported first-quarter net profit of 1.158 billion euros ($1.28 billion), beating consensus estimates of 864.54 million euros.

The bank was briefly involved in banking volatility last month, when its shares plummeted while credit-default swaps – a form of insurance for corporate bondholders against default – surged.

Market watchers are again focusing on Bank of America this week after First Republic’s first-quarter deposit outflows were worse than expected, sending its shares to record lows.