Barclays 'months away' from completing overhaul as profits surge

Barclays 'months away' from completing overhaul as profits surge

Barclays boss Jes Staley said the British bank is "just months away" from completing an overhaul as he unveiled a surge in annual profits.

The lender said bottom-line group profits nearly trebled to £3.23 billion from £1.15 billion a year earlier, while it posted a 4% rise in underlying pre-tax profits to £6.4 billion for its core business - Barclays UK and Barclays International.

Mr Staley, who has been selling down and offloading unwanted businesses to focus on US and UK operations, said the group had "accomplished a lot in a year".

He added: "We are now just months away from completing the restructuring of Barclays, and I am more optimistic than ever for our prospects in 2017, and beyond."

Profits for the year were helped by a revenue boost from its investment banking operations, which saw income lift 6% to £10.5 billion thanks to buoyant bond trading and foreign exchange rates.

It also saw lower costs for payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation, at £1 billion in 2016 against £2.8 billion the previous year.

The group said it planned to close its so-called non-core bank on June 30, six months earlier than expected.

Mr Staley has been leading a widespread restructuring for the past year, offloading businesses from France to Egypt and moving to sell off its 62% stake in Barclays Africa.

Chairman John McFarlane said it was a "pivotal year" for the bank.

In its annual report published alongside the results, the bank revealed Mr Staley was awarded a £4.23 million pay package for 2016.

The bank's total bonus pool edged down to £1.53 billion from £1.54 billion in 2015.

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