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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