Profits at Barclays’ Irish business fall 18% in 2017 to €22.5m

Low interest rates and €2.5m fall in foreign exchange and trading earnings hit income

In 2017 Barclays Ireland stopped handling credit card transactions for the group, which transferred this business to another division. This led to a loss of more than €600m in assets from the Irish arm’s balance sheet

In 2017 Barclays Ireland stopped handling credit card transactions for the group, which transferred this business to another division. This led to a loss of more than €600m in assets from the Irish arm’s balance sheet

 

Profits at British bank Barclays’ Irish business fell 18 per cent to €22.5 million last year, according to accounts just filed.

Income at Barclays Ireland plc dipped to €31.9 million in 2017 from €32.35 million the previous year. Barclays’ profit for the year was €22.5 million, 8 per cent less than the €24.4 million recorded in 2016.

However, 2016’s results included a €3.8 million once-off payment to its pension scheme following its restructuring. Had it not made this the bank’s profits in 2016 would have been €28 million, meaning that last year’s actual fall in profitability was 18 per cent.

Several factors contributed to the decline in Barclays earnings. Low interest rates and a €2.5 million fall in foreign exchange and trading earnings hit income, while costs rose €1.5 million, partly on the back of the bank hiring 11 extra staff.

Total assets fell to €3.2 billion on December 31st from €3.5 billion a year earlier.

In 2017, Barclays Ireland stopped handling credit card transactions for the group, which transferred this business to another division. This led to a loss of more than €600 million in assets from the Irish arm’s balance sheet.

However, growth in loans to both other banks and to customers helped offset out a portion of this loss. The bank paid its parent an interim dividend of €46.3 million in 2017.

Large companies

Barclays Ireland loans money to large companies, provides financial services to businesses and invests cash for wealthy individuals.

During the year it agreed to loan €55.1 million to holiday camp company Center Parcs for a development in Co Longford and to increase finance to hotel group Dalata to €62.5 million. More recently it has financed deals in businesses including aircraft leasing, food, hospitality, property, shops and utilities.

A Barclays Ireland spokesman described 2017 as positive. “Our strategy in corporate banking remains centred on working with companies of considerable scale, including leading corporates and multi-nationals.”

The spokesman added that all its businesses grew during the year.