Barclays bank takes £500m charge against forex probes

Barclays bank takes £500m charge against forex probes

Thursday, October 30, 2014 9:25 am

British bank Barclays on Thursday set aside £500 million ($800 million, 634 million euros) linked to probes into price-rigging allegations in foreign exchange markets, and posted slumping third-quarter net profits.

“A £500-million provision has been recognised relating to ongoing investigations into foreign exchange with certain regulatory authorities,” it said in a results statement, adding Q3 net profits sank 25 percent to £379 million from a year earlier.

The announcement comes as global regulators investigate the alleged rigging of foreign exchange markets around the world.

In Britain, both the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) watchdog have launched probes into the alleged manipulation of the £3-trillion-a-day forex market.

Barclays added that earnings after taxation plunged 25 percent to £379 million in the three months to September, compared with £511 million the same period of last year.

The performance was also weighed down by a £364-million loss from the sale of the group’s Spanish retail business.

At the same time, Barclays took a £461-million gain related to its 2008 purchase of the US business of failed US investment bank Lehman Brothers.

However, Barclays added that adjusted pre-tax profit — after stripping out charges and other exceptional items — rose 15 percent to £1.59 billion.

That beat expectations of about £1.21 billion, owing to lower-than-anticipated restructuring costs.

“This is a good performance from the group, our strategy is working, and we expect to see continued progress as we go forward,” said chief executive Antony Jenkins.

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