Feb 22, 2018

Opening Quote: Barclays takes conduct hit and orchestrates loss

Barclays' full-year results would be several pages briefer, its pre-tax profits £1.2bn higher, and its chief executive arguably 100 per cent safer if you exclude the time and money it still has to spend on conduct and litigation costs. The trouble is, investors still can't, which is one reason why Barclays shares were the worst performing of FTSE 100 banks in 2017, falling 9 per cent in the year. During 2017, Barclays' litigation and conduct costs hit £1.2bn, which included £0.7bn of charges for payment protection insurance compensation. The combination of political and regulatory intervention in the UK energy market, concerns over the loss of energy customers in the UK, and the performance issue in North America have created material uncertainty around Centrica and, although we delivered on our financial targets of for the year, this resulted in a very poor shareholder experience. Like Barclays, it had some better news on that front: it is paying 12p per share, in line with the year before.

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