| 29 February 2024, Thursday |

Barclays: loans worth $6.7 billion expected to turn sour

Barclays have set aside billions of dollars for loans expected to turn sour due to the pandemic.

The bank reported a 30 percent fall in pre-tax profits to $4.3 billion for 2020, down from $6 billion in 2019.

It was forced to set aside $6.7 billion to cover loans unlikely to be paid back amid the economic fallout of Covid.

The bank announced it would resume dividends, with a payment of 1 pound per share to shareholders.

The bank has been one of the biggest providers of emergency loans during the coronavirus crisis, having given some $37.5 billion worth to businesses.

Barclays warned that pandemic-related costs would remain high throughout the coming year, but that it expected loan loss charges to be “materially below” last year’s hit.

Barclays added that investment banking trading had helped to offset the impact of the Covid crisis on its retail arm, with its “best ever year” for markets and banking income helping to keep the group in profit.

“We expect that our resilient and diversified business model will deliver a meaningful improvement in returns in 2021,” group chief executive Jes Staley said.