Barclays puts by £150m for Brexit uncertainty as profits edge lower

Banking giant Barclays has revealed a £150 million hit to cover Brexit uncertainty as it said annual profits edged 1% lower to £3.49 billion.

The group said it had set aside the Brexit charge in the final three months of 2018 to cover the “anticipated economic uncertainty in the UK”, which is set to impact its UK credit card and corporate loans businesses.

Barclays said its bottom-line profits were dragged lower by £2.2 billion of conduct and litigation charges, including a £1.4 billion settlement with US authorities over its sale of mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the financial crisis and £400 million for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling.

With these excluded but including the £150 million Brexit charge, underlying pre-tax profits lifted 20% to £5.7 billion.

Jes Staley, chief executive of Barclays, said: “2018 represented a very significant period for Barclays.

“In the course of the year, having resolved major legacy issues and reduced the drag from low returning businesses, we started to see the earnings potential of the bank, as the strategy we have implemented began to deliver.”

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