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Barclays profits soar as investment bank sees record results   


Barclays PLC (LSE:BARC) reported record full-year profits after strong performances in all its divisions, with the investment bank posting its strongest ever result and the UK business achieving significant profits growth. 

The bank confirmed that group finance director Tushar Morzaria is retiring and said it appointed Anna Cross, the current deputy group finance director, as his successor with effect from 23 April 2022. 

Barclays posted pre-tax profits of £8.4bn for the year to 31 December 2021, compared with £3bn the previous year, as return on tangible equity (RoTE) climbed to double-digits, 13.5% versus 3.2% in 2020. 

Fourth-quarter pre-tax profits were £1.5bn with RoTE of 9.%. 

Total income for the full year increased to £21.94bn from £21.76bn. 

There was a net credit impairment release of around £700mln compared with a £4.8bn charge the year before, driven by an improved economic outlook, reduced unsecured lending balances and a benign credit environment. 

In the International business, the Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) delivered its strongest results to date with pre-tax profit of £5.8bn as investment banking fees income surged by 34% to a record £3.65bn, driven by a strong performance in advisory and equity capital markets. 

But global markets income dropped by 16% to £6.4bn as a strong performance in equities was more than offset by a 33% drop in fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) income due to tighter spreads and the non-recurrence of prior year client activity levels. 

Profits at Barclays UK surged to £2.47bn before tax from £546mln in 2020, as RoTE jumped to 17.6% from 3.2%, reflecting an improving UK operating environment. 

Strong growth in mortgage lending drove a 10% increase in personal banking income to £3.88bn, Barclays said. 

The bank is paying a full-year dividend of 4p, taking its total payout for the year, including dividends ans share buybacks, to £2.5bn. The bank said it intends to initiate a further share buyback of up to £1bn. 

Barclays said its bonus pool for 2021 is £1.9bn, a rise of 23% on 2020.

In the current year, costs are expected to be “modestly higher” than £12bn due to inflationary pressures and planned investment spend, the bank noted.

Chief executive CS Venkatakrishnan said: “Barclays demonstrated a clear and sustainable path to growth over the course of 2021, delivering double-digit RoTE across our operating businesses, and returning £2.5bn of excess capital. 

“Our strategic priorities will continue to develop the diversified business model that we have established, investing in advanced technology capabilities in our consumer businesses, delivering sustainable growth across our global Corporate and Investment Bank, and reinforcing our commitment to aiding the transition to a low-carbon economy.” 

Shares were up 2.5% at 194.98p in early trade.

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