Record profits for UK bank

21 February 2007

Barclays Bank, which is the third-largest in Britain, has reported record profits of $14 billion for 2006.

The figures, which represent a 35 per cent improvement on last year, come despite bad debt charges totalling $4 billion from the bank's Barclaycard and unsecured loans businesses.

A breakdown of the figures reveals that one area that showed particular improvement was Barclays Capital whose investment banking department surged by 55 per cent to $4 billion.

Barclays Global Investors also saw profits rise by 32 per cent to $1.4 billion.

Commenting on the figures to Reuters, financial analyst Antony Broadbent, said: "It was a pretty strong operating performance taken as a whole - the UK banking numbers were good and the rise of the Barclays Capital and BGI empire continues,"

The improvements in Barclays' global investments division come at a time when the bank has announced plans to expand its overseas retail banking presence by opening 350 outlets this year.

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