Barclays Sees Turnaround Gathering Momentum as Dividend Boosted

  • Barclays Sees Turnaround Gathering Momentum as Dividend Boosted

Barclays Sees Turnaround Gathering Momentum as Dividend Boosted

Chief executive Jes Staley described 2017 as a "year of considerable strategic progress".

In 2017, Staley apologized to the Barclays board, and accepted its conclusion that his personal actions in the matter were errors on his part.

Income decreased 2% to 21.08 billion pounds from 21.45 billion pounds previous year, primarily driven by lower revenue in Barclays International and Head Office, whilst impairment was broadly stable.

The CEO is facing a United Kingdom regulatory probe for attempting to ferret out the identity of a whistle-blower. The bank will make a final decision once the outcome of the Financial Conduct Authority investigation is complete.

On an after-tax basis, the company recorded an attributable loss of 1.9 billion pounds, compared to profit of 1.6 billion pounds a year ago.

The former JPMorgan (JPM.N) investment banker, who took charge of the lender in December 2015, comes from a culture where bonuses are the barometer of performance. However, that beat a decline estimated by UBS Group AG and the average 25 percent drop in markets revenue posted by Wall Street firms.

Barclays also announced a restoration of its dividend to 6.5 pence per share for 2018, more than double the last year's full-year dividend of 3 pence. Staley had slashed the payout to absorb losses from an accelerated run-down of a unit that housed toxic or unwanted assets.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented: "Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donald Trump don't always see eye to eye, but they have double-teamed Barclays, with the bank's full year profits dragged down by USA tax reform and a PPI campaign fronted by everyone's favourite bodybuilder".

This more than offset the 2% decline in total income 2% to £21.1bn from reduced inflow at Barclays International and the head office, while impairments were broadly stable at £2.3bn.

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) boss Antonio Horta-Osorio and HSBC's departing chief executive Stuart Gulliver secured higher pay packages, despite missing analyst estimates on profits.

Compensating the best-performing traders and deal makers while culling others is part of Staley's plan to build a bulge-bracket investment bank capable of competing with the biggest players on Wall Street.