Boss Agius apologises for failures at Barclays

Barclays chairman Marcus Agius yesterday said "sorry" to customers and shareholders for the failures that have led to it being at the centre of the public anger at bankers.

Mr Agius, who quit and then returned following the resignation of chief executive Bob Diamond, said: "These remain challenging times for Barclays as well as the industry and we are sorry for what happened... I am confident we can and will repair the reputational damage done to our business."

He added: "We recognise that we have disappointed our customers and shareholders." Barclays half-year results were better than the City expected.

Profits rose 13 per cent to £4.22bn, with the retail arm doing well and the investment bank more than holding its own. Income at the investment bank, formerly BarCap, was up 4 per cent to £6.49bn.

The shares rose 13.4p to 167p, the biggest gainer on the footsie.

Ian Gordon at Investec Securites, said: "It's one in the eye today for Barclays' many enemies and detractors. Barcap should continue to consolidate market share and enjoy a 'survivor's premium'."