17 Feb 2010

Record profit reported by Barclays

7:02 am on 17 February 2010

Barclays has posted record profits for last year.

The giant British banking group says its profits were swelled by the sale of its global asset management arm, BGI fund management arm to the US company BlackRock last year.

Stripping this out, profits were 5.6 billion pounds compared with 1.6 billion pounds in 2008, though that figure included hefty write-downs.

The bank did not take any direct state help during the financial crisis.

Last week, chief executive John Varley told the Commons Treasury Committee that Barclays loaned about 35 billion pounds to businesses and households in Britain in 2009, having promised in April to lend at least 11 billion.

The BBC reports the willingness for banks to lend is seen as an important factor for economic recovery.