Barclays Profit Falls as Deal Making Declines, Sending Shares Lower

LONDON—Barclays PLC’s profit fell in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, sending shares in the British banking giant sharply lower. 

The bank on Wednesday said net profit fell 4% to £1.04 billion, equivalent to $1.2 billion, in the three months to December, down from £1.08 billion a year earlier. Analysts expected a profit of £919 million, according to a consensus of analyst estimates compiled by Barclays.

Barclays shares were down 8.3% in early London trading.

Barclays runs the world’s sixth-largest investment bank, as well as consumer and business-banking operations, and credit-card businesses, in the U.S. and the U.K. 

Like other investment banks, Barclays has seen a sharp downturn in deal making, sapping a key source of business. However, it has benefited from a boost in trading revenue stoked by volatility in bond markets. 

Barclays, like its peers, has also profited from rising interest rates, as global central banks move to tame inflation. The increases have enabled banks to charge customers higher rates and earn fatter margins on credit cards, mortgages and other loans.

The bank has faced obstacles, some self-imposed. Early last year the bank said it had botched a series of debt sales by exceeding regulatory limits, leading to a big U.S. fine. 

Barclays was among a group of banks that agreed to fund Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter Inc., in what became one of the biggest so-called “hung deals” as banks were unable to sell on their debt commitments.

In November, the bank disclosed that Chief Executive

C.S. Venkatakrishnan

had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer. Mr. Venkatakrishnan told employees his diagnosis was excellent and that he would try to continue working during treatment. 

Write to Josh Mitchell at [email protected]

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