Barclays and HSBC hail “strong” performances

Barclays and HSBC both say trading was “strong” in the first nine months of the year.

Barclays saw revenues increase 26%, despite bad debts driving profit down by a fifth.

The bank says a strong performance by its investment banking division, Barclays Capital, helped boost total income by £23.8bn in the nine months to 30 September.

The bump in income was offset partly by a £6.2bn charge to cover bad debts, which sent pre-tax profit down 19% to £4.5bn.

The bank says its UK retail banking division was particularly hard hit by bad debts, where pre-tax profit for the nine months” decreased significantly”.

Rival HSBC says “a clear and unchanged strategy and a focus on banking fundamentals” helped keep pre-tax profit for the year to date ahead of the same period last year.

Neither HSBC or Barclays required Government help in the wake of last year’s financial crisis and their results contrast starkly with those from Royal Bank of Scotland, now 70% owned by the taxpayer, which posted a loss of £2.2bn in the third quarter.

Barclays in particular has continued to invest in growth. It acquired the home loans and savings division of insurer Standard Life last month and also recently announced it was hiring 50 new marketers to help boost its UK Barclaycard business.

The bank also recently extended its sponsorship of the English Premier League in a deal worth £82m over three years.

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