LONDON: Barclays PLC Thursday announced an increase in third-quarter net profit, helped by a fall in conduct and operating costs.
The British bank said revenue in the quarter was down 5% to GBP5.17 billion ($6.9 billion) compared to a year ago, as bond trading revenues slumped. Net-profit rose to GBP583 million from GBP414 million a year ago.
Like others in the industry, revenue from Barclays’s investment bank was hit by low market volatility. The bank’s markets business revenue slumped by 30% year-over-year. This was somewhat offset by the bank’s U.K. retail and card business.
Barclays clarified its targets, saying it would have a return on equity of greater than 9% in 2019 and greater than 10% by 2020. Currently, the bank’s return on equity is 5.1%.
Costs in 2019 will be between GBP13.6 billion and GBP13.9 billion, excluding litigation and conduct charges and other investments. But the bank didn’t make clear when it would increase its dividend. That announcement will likely be made during the bank’s full-year presentation early next year.
“We can now turn our full attention towards what matters most to our shareholders: improving Group returns,” said Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley.
After ditching billions of assets, cutting 60,000 staff and exiting over a dozen countries including most of Africa, the British bank is moving into the next stage of a plan to shed costs.