Feb 18, 2021

Barclays to restart dividend after fall in Covid-related charges

Barclays said it would restart its dividend after a second-consecutive quarter of declining coronavirus loan-loss provisions, as robust investment banking performance partially offset the impact of the pandemic on the UK economy. The London-based bank said it would restart dividends and buy back £700m of shares after a Bank of England ban on shareholder payouts was partially lifted late last year. Overall in 2020, investment banking revenue rose 22 per cent - which the bank said was the best year for the unit since at least 2014 - with markets propped up by unprecedented levels of central bank and government stimulus and companies raising financing at a record rate. "Barclays' diversity has proven to be an asset through Covid-19 with the strong investment bank covering for the weaker UK," said RBC analyst Benjamin Toms. "We expect the bank to continue to gain market share, although we suspect that some of the recent gains can be attributed to peers stepping away from business rather than Barclays actively winning share. Therefore we expect the current pace of gains will slow going forward."

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