Big Bounce Back continues at Barclays
“The great rebound of Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS) (LON: BARC) continues with pre-tax profits more than doubling in the first quarter to reach £ 2.4 billion. Given the optimistic theme running through these results, the best may be yet to come, but concerns are growing about the bank’s rising operational costs. It is this insignificant concern that seems to have contributed to a drop in the share price early in today’s session of around 5%.
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Barclays flexes its trading muscles
With the emergence of a rapid economic recovery, bad debt charges were well below expectations, dropping sharply in the first quarter to £ 55million, from £ 2.1 billion in the same period, in the depths of the crisis last year. .
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Barclays flexed its trading muscles during the pandemic, but its corporate and investment banking showed slightly less power in the quarter, with total income down 1%, with income from bonds, currencies and raw materials having fallen by 35%.
The stock trading boom continues, manifesting itself in an increase in income of 65% and also helping to increase the profits of its banking advisory business.
Barclays Investment Arm provides the financial cushion
While stock trading activity is unlikely to continue at such a breakneck pace, Barclays’ investment arm clearly continues to provide the necessary financial cushion as its consumer business recovers its footing.
The bank’s rich data vaults are already showing an optimistic outlook for consumer spending with the hope that we will start piling up in the mountains of savings accumulated over the past year. A consumer craze is adding to hopes that interest rates could start to rise, giving its lending business a boost.
Although confident slits of light shine through the trees as the recovery continues, Barclays is not yet completely out of the pandemic woods. The cost-to-income ratio, measuring how much money it takes to run operations, relative to income, has increased to 61%. The concern is that it could drift even higher as Covid spending and costs related to an overhaul of its branch network are expected to rise. Controlling spending is seen as a priority, but there is uncertainty as to how far the reins will be drawn. ”
Article by Susannah Streeter, Senior Investment and Markets Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown
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