Barclays Pushed to Loss by Africa Write-Down

Barclays PLC said Friday it swung to a second-quarter loss as it wrote down the value of its Africa operations and took higher provisions for conduct costs.

The British bank's second-quarter net loss was GBP1.4 billion ($1.83 billion) compared with a profit of GBP433 million a year ago. Excluding one-offs profit before taxes increased to GBP659 million quarter-on-quarter. Total income was flat at GBP5 billion in the quarter compared with a year ago.

Revenue at its investment bank fell on the back of muted trading. Impairments increased at its credit card division and the bank took a GBP700 million charge to compensate customers who were sold insurance products they didn't need.

The bank is largely finished with the first stage of Chief Executive Jes Staley's strategy revamp. The bank has completed a retreat from Africa, retrenched it investment bank and closed its "non core" division which held billions of unwanted assets. However, shares have fallen in the last three months as investors fretted about whether the new-look Barclays can produce returns. Dividend rises are still over the horizon, the bank said it would update investor at its full year results in February. The bank said on Friday it now targets a greater than 10% group return on tangible equity "over time."

There are also a series of regulatory issues hanging over the bank. Barclays is being sued by the Justice Department over its role in the packaging and sale of toxic backed mortgages. Mr. Staley is himself being probed by U.K. regulators after trying to unmask a whistleblower.

Write to Max Colchester at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 28, 2017 03:01 ET (07:01 GMT)