Barclays Profits Beat Estimates

Barclays (NYSE:BCS) reported better-than-expected third-quarter profits on Thursday, following its Wall Street rivals in receiving a significant boost from its investment banking division.

The British bank reported attributable profit of £1.45 billion for the third quarter. Analysts had expected it to come in at £931.25 million, according to Refinitiv data, and the figure marks a significant increase from the £611 million reported in the same period last year.

Barclays CEO Jes Staley told reporters on Thursday that 2021 is "going to be quite a year" for the bank.

Barclays’ corporate and investment banking division had its strongest year-to-date third-quarter performance in terms of fees and equities income, boosting the bank’s return on tangible equity — a key ratio used to assess profitability.

Income from investment banking fees increased 37% to £2.7 billion, "driven by a strong performance in Advisory and Equity capital markets reflecting an increase in the fee pool and an increased market share," the bank said in its earnings release. Equities income climbed 28% to £2.47 billion on the back of “"strong client activity in derivatives and increased client balances in financing."

Although COVID-19 cases in the U.K. have risen to a seven-day rolling average of around 45,000, Staley said Barclays was well positioned to weather any further economic headwinds.

"We still have well over £6 billion of impairment reserves on our balance sheet for any issues in the economy going forward," Staley said, adding that the U.K.’s fiscal and monetary policy response has been "extraordinarily robust."

BCS shares subsided 11 cents to $11.13