Barclays post 10 per cent rise in pre-tax profits

Barclays bank building in Canary Wharf in London Britain

Barclays declared its intention to more than double dividend payouts in 2018 to 6.5p per share after lower costs helped lift profits a year ago - though they were still slightly short of analyst's forecasts.

"In addition, the group has re-iterated all of its medium-term financial targets albeit noting that the percentage group effective tax rate will be lower than previously guided as a result of the impact if United States tax reform".

A near-£1bn charge related to Donald Trump's tax reforms and further litigation provisions pushed Barclays deep into the red a year ago.

The lender earlier posted a pretax profit, excluding litigation costs, of 334 million pounds, missing the average 570-million-pound average estimate of 14 analysts compiled by the bank. The group's pre-tax profit, however, rose by 10 percent to £3.54 billion in 2017, and customer deposits increased 2 percent to £193.4 billion.

Barclays, along with HSBC, voted in favour of lending more money to Carillion just days before it collapsed.

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The bank reported a gender pay gap in its other main unit, Barclays UK, of 26 percent.

He said there was "a bit of ground to make up" if the bank is to achieve its RoTE targets.

This result was despite earnings at its investment bank plunging to £2.1bn (a dive of 22%), something Barclays blamed on "weak market conditions".

"2017 was a year of considerable strategic progress for Barclays", Barclays' CEO Jes Staley said in a statement released with the results.

Part of his strategy has been to cut costs by shutting bank branches and cutting thousands of jobs. The bank also separately disclosed Thursday, its discretionary awards for investment bankers and traders fell slightly to 864 million pounds.

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Barclays is fighting the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the United States courts in relation to the sale of mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007.

But it gave no update on a Financial Conduct Authority inquiry into Staley over his attempts to unmask a whistleblower who had raised concerns about a Barclays executive.

"Barclays is spinning many plates at the moment, and inevitably there are some breakages", said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor. It also made a £2.5bn loss on the sale of its African business.

However, Mr Hunter said there were some "pockets of hope", including strength in its traditional High Street banking business and growth in the credit card unit. That helped to boost Barclays' share price by 4%.

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