Barclays saves cash for fx rigging fines as profits jump 12%

Barclays chief Antony Jenkins spoke of "great frustration" dealing with regulatory issues

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The Independent Online

Barclays has set aside a further £750 million for potential fines arising the currency manipulation scandal after it beat forecasts to post annual profits 12 per cent higher than last year.

The bank's adjusted pre-tax profit of £5.5 billion did not account for legal costs, which rose 250 per cent in 2014 to £1.7 billion after allegations of benchmark rigging.

The £1.7 billion cost of litigation at the end of 2014 is a sharp increase from £485 million a year earlier.

The sum set aside to cover the foreign exchange claims stood at £1.25 billion, versus its previous £500 million pot. The bank added an extra £200 million for PPI.

Barclays' full-year adjusted profit before tax rose to £5.5 billion from £4.9 billion in 2013, with much of the uplift stemming from cost savings of £1.8 billion.

Chief executive Antony Jenkins told the BBC Today programme that dealing with the regulatory issues was a “source of great frustration”, but said the bank had made “good progress” in revamping its culture.

Jenkins said that based on that performance, he decided to take bonus of £1.1 million for 2014, which comes on top of his £1.1 million salary and £950,000 in 'role-based' pay.

He has previously declined to take a bonus.

“Every year the board considers... bonuses and I reflect whether take it,” he said. “If you look at the condition of group compared to where it was 2012, it has changed fundamentally, it has better prospects and a changing culture,”

“On this occasion, I judged it right for me take my bonus.”

Barclays said the average bonus per employee was 17% to £14,100.

Additional reporting by Reuters