Barclays posts £3.95 billon profit

Barclays has announced a £3.95 billon pre-tax profit for the first half of 2010, a rise of 44% from the same period last year.

Much of the gains came from Barclays investment banking arm, which posted a £3.4 billon return. The bank also announced that it lent £18 billon to British households and businesses in the first six months of 2010.

Bad debts were cut by almost a third to £3.08 billon from £4.6 billon in the first half of 2009. Net income rose by 25% from £10.8 billon to £13.5 billon, however operating expenses rose 21% to £9.7 billon, from £8 billon in 2009.

John Varley, the chief executive of Barclays, says: “Against the backdrop of subdued economic and market activity and the sovereign debt storm of the second quarter, we have delivered good growth in income and profits during the first half of the year, and, at the same time as lending a further £18 billon to UK households and businesses, we have kept the regulatory balance sheet under tight control. The twin benefits of a broadly based set of banking activities—both by geography and business line—and sound risk management lie behind these results. (article continues below)

“We recognise our wider social responsibility as an enabler of economic growth and prosperity, and our actions are—and will continue to be—informed by this duty. The period ahead will be one of great importance to the future of the industry as the final shape of the reform agenda starts to solidify. We will engage fully in that dialogue, whilst keeping our eyes firmly on the needs and interests of our customers and clients.”