* Q1 profit before tax 2.4 bln stg
* Impairment charge of 55 mln stg
* Mixed investment bank performance with FICC down 35%
By Lawrence White and Iain Withers
LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - Barclays' profits more
than doubled in the first quarter, as the group's investment
bank capitalised on a share trading mania while charges against
expected bad loans shrank to almost nothing.
Barclays on Friday reported a profit before tax for the
three months ended March 31 of 2.4 billion pounds ($3.34
billion), up from 923 million pounds a year ago and above the
1.76 billion pound average of analysts' forecasts.
The lender took an impairment charge of just 55 million
pounds for further bad loans, much less than analysts had
forecast and down from 2.1 billion pounds in the same period a
The stronger than expected results followed similarly upbeat
news from rivals such as HSBC and Lloyds
earlier in the week, as British banks benefited from government
job support schemes that have put back the hit from the
The British banks however have been more cautious than U.S.
peers such as JPMorgan, which earlier this month
released more than $5 billion it had set aside to cover bad
Barclays' strong results came despite a mixed performance
from its investment bank, where the usually standout fixed
income, currencies and commodities (FICC) business reported a
35% decline in income.
The poor performance in FICC, which Barclays said was due to
a slump in client demand compared to the frenzied start of 2020,
was offset by a 65% spike in equities trading income, mainly due
The stocks boom also bolstered its banking advisory business
within the investment bank, as income rose 35% to 859 million
pounds from fees for advising on equity fundraisings.
The results mirrored those of French rival BNP Paribas
, which on Friday also reported a rebound in equity
trading and a drop in fixed income.
The generally strong performance in the past few years from
Barclays' investment bank has vindicated Staley's backing of the
business, during a period when activist shareholder Ed Bramson
urged him to cut it back.
($1 = 0.7175 pounds)
(Reporting By Lawrence White and Iain Withers, editing by Anna
Irrera, Rachel Armstrong and Jane Merriman)