Company Of The Week: Barclays
Sunday 21 February 1999
Barclays increased lending to individuals and raised loans to and fees from corporations. This helped the bank recover from a tumultuous year, which culminated in the resignation of chief executive Martin Taylor. Investors expect Barclays' new chief executive, Michael O'Neill, a former BankAmerica Corp executive, to reduce costs in the next three years.
"These numbers demonstrate that commercial banks like Barclays have a very good franchise. They can absorb the impact of new entrants and protect their profitability," said Nick Collier, an analyst at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
Barclays shares rose 11 per cent to a six-month high. Barclays chairman- designate Sir Peter Middleton, who will succeed Andrew Buxton as chairman in April, said Barclays Capital is not for sale and the investment bank could earn a 1999 operating profit of about pounds 265m.
"We're going to run it as a low-risk business, not nearly as risky as lending money," said Sir Peter, adding that the investment banking division has quit risky businesses such as trading securities for its own account after being forced to set aside pounds 250m to cover Russian losses.
He said the bank's costs will be stable this year and will show big reductions in the next three years. In November 250, or 5.6 per cent, of the investment banking unit's staff were fired, and Barclays said it will reduce costs in its credit card business by 15 per cent over three years.
"The results showed that the recession is unlikely to be severe," said Charles Maisey, director of Quilter & Company. "Whereas last autumn everybody expected the worst, it now doesn't look so bad."
The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
4Chan naked photos leak: Celebrity Twitter reactions to the mass breach of privacy
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
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