Business

Barclays reveals revival plan to woo investors as profits fall

Barclays has revealed a revival plan to shore up support among investors that includes cutting costs and risk while bolstering returns.

The UK-based lender’s shake-up, that Sky News reported last month had already resulted in 5,000 job losses, will also see an overhaul of management, some business disposals and £10bn returned to shareholders over three years.

It was announced as Barclays reported a 6% decline in annual pre-tax profits to £6.6bn.

Chief executive CS Venkatakrishnan, known as Venkat, said: “Our new three-year plan… is designed to further improve Barclays’ operational and financial performance, driving higher returns, and predictable, attractive shareholder distributions.”

He had previously pledged to listen to a growing number of investors seeking a streamlined business model and improved returns as the bank’s share price lagged those of rivals.

A top complaint has been Barclays’ reliance on its high cost and high risk investment banking arm for profitability.

That business has attracted greater regulatory scrutiny industry wide since the financial crash of 2008, becoming even more vulnerable in times of economic uncertainty.

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The company moved to strengthen its domestic retail bank earlier this month when it agreed to buy the bulk of Tesco Bank’s operations in a deal worth up to £1bn.

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