Banking giant Barclays today reported a 6% fall in profits, after figures were knocked by a steep rise in the amount it set aside to cover bad debts.
The group said pre-tax profits for the half year to June 30 fell to £1.75bn (€2.8), against the same period the previous year.
Profits were knocked by a jump in provisions for bad and doubtful debts, which rose to £713m (€1.14bn), up from £498m (€796m) last year.
Figures were also hurt by the stock market slides, which hit its life assurance business.
Chief executive Matthew Barrett said: “Barclays’ underlying performance in the first half benefited from a strong inflow of new customers and increased business volumes.
“Although we made good profits, they were lower than the first half of 2001 because of our decision on provisioning for Argentina and the impact of the market decline on income in our life assurance business.”