Barclays profits fall by 2% amid plans to sell Africa business

Barclays will sell its 62 per cent stake in Barclays Africa Group

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The Independent Online

Barclays has reported a 2 per cent fall in annual pre-tax profit to £5.4 billion, stripping out one-off items including fines for misselling of PPI insurance.

This was lower than the £5.8 billion expected by investors. 

The results came with plans for Barclays to sell its African business to try and stem losses and cut costs.

Barclays will sell its 62 per cent stake in Barclays Africa Group to concentrate on the two lines of business that generate 10 per cent of returns: retail banking and its corporate and investment bank.

These two areas have become the focus of Jes Staley, who took over as Barclays chief executive three months ago. Staley has said he won't take a bonus.

"I do believe the banks lost their way in the financial crisis. We need to regain that," Staley told the BBC.

Shares in Barclays Africa tumbled on Monday after Barclays said it might withdraw after almost a century on the continent. Africa's growth has been hampered by the falling price of oil and other commodities due in part to the slowdown in China.

While the African company accounted for 13 percent of Barclays' core profit in the first nine months of 2015, its earnings growth was the slowest among the British lender's main businesses in that period.

Additional reporting by Reuters