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Banking

Barclays returns to profit, job slashes loom

British bank Barclays has announced it has returned to full-year profitability. But adjusted pre-tax earnings took a tumble last year and the lender said thousands of jobs would be cut throughout 2014.

Scandal-hit Barclays remained in the headlines Tuesday by announcing a deep dive in adjusted pre-tax profit for 2013, taking into account restructuring and litigation costs. The lender said earnings slumped by 26 percent to 5.2 billion pounds (6.23 billion euros, $8.51 billion).

Barclays said it would need to cut between 10,000 and 12,000 jobs this year as it kept reducing the number of branches in the UK and increased restructuring efforts at home and farther afield.

The bank's annual net group earnings after tax amounted to 540 million pounds, meaning the lender managed to return to profitability after posting a net loss of 624 million pounds in 2012.

Tainted reputation

EU: Drastic penalties for big lenders

"Despite challenging conditions, our underlying performance has been resilient and momentum is building, as evidenced by the results," CEO Antony Jenkins said in a statement in London.

Barclays announced that staff would receive increased bonuses, a source of public anger against lenders at the height of the global financial crisis and a dubious measure against the backdrop of the looming layoffs.

The British bank is still working to repair its reputation following its role in the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal.

On Sunday, a domestic data watchdog launched a probe after confidential files relating to Barclays customers were allegedly stolen and then sold on to rogue brokers.

hg/ipj (AFP, Reuters)

DW.DE

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