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Barclays resumes dividends as lower bad debts lift half-year profits to £5bn

Jes Staley, chief executive, said it was a strong first half with record investment banking fees

Barclays PLC -

Barclays PLC (LSE:BARC) resumed dividend payments and announced a £500mln share buyback as interim profits soared almost four-fold to £5bn.

A reduction in bad debt charges due to the better economic outlook globally sparked the improvement, with a £4.5bn swing this time compared to a year ago with a £0.7bn credit against a £3.8bn charge.

This offset a drop in income overall of 3% to £11.3bn in the six months to end June 2021, due to currency effects, weaker credit card spending and a reduced contribution from corporate and merchant banking.

Jes Staley, chief executive, said it was a strong first half with record investment banking fees and record income in its equities businesses.

He added that the bank was also starting to see the resurgence of activity across other businesses, with group income up on the same period last year excluding the impact of currency movements.

“Our CIB [corporate investment bank] business is well-positioned to benefit from continued growth in debt and equity capital markets, with Global Markets and Investment Banking fees income up 36% since 2019.”

Costs rose in the half reflecting bonuses following the good performance of the investment banking arm, though Staley said excluding these and structural payment, 2021's outlay will be broadly in line with 2020.

UK banks were recently allowed to resume dividend payments again after Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions were lifted and Barclays announced an interim payment of 2p per share.

Quick facts: Barclays PLC

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Price: 182.84 GBX

Market Cap: £30.84 billion

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