This represents a 34 per cent drop over the first six months of the year, as credit crunch conditions continue to grip the markets.
The bank also admitted that it had written down $5.6 billion of assets over the period, due to their declining value in the global financial crisis.
Barclays Capital, the firm's investment unit, suffered a further blow: a 69 per cent profits decline, bringing its pre-tax net income to just over $1 billion.
The sluggish profits have led to a 2.6 per cent drop in the value of Barclays shares today, as the London exchanges reacted to the news.
Chief executive John Varley commented: "It would be wrong... to suggest that the market conditions over the foreseeable future will be anything other than tough.
"That means that we must remain very vigilant to managing risk."
Barclays is Britain's third-largest bank, behind HSBC and RBS.