Barclays shares rise on upbeat trading report

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The Independent Online
SHARES IN Barclays Bank rose sharply yesterday after the first trading statement since the appointment of Matthew Barrett as chief executive showed tight cost control and continued growth in fee and commission income.

The market was also cheered by good third-quarter results from Barclays Capital, the bank's treasury and bond broking division, which was the source of the upset following the Russian bond default last year.

In a statement ahead of a series of briefings with City analysts before the close period for the year ended 31 December 1999, the bank said all areas were showing growth. There was a slight improvement in the overall UK lending margin in the third quarter. However, the overall UK deposit margin narrowed. Margins on the corporate lending side also narrowed slightly.

Since the departure last year of Martin Taylor as chief executive, the chairman Sir Peter Middleton has pushed forward a series of cost-cutting initiatives.

Earlier this year the bank announced plans to cut 6,000 jobs, increased to 7,000 in August. It is also closing 200 - 10 per cent - of its branches.