Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays, has warned that the profitability of the bank’s fixed income division fell sharply in the first three months of the year.
Ahead of today’s annual general meeting, Jenkins (pictured) blamed the lower earnings on both a tougher market environment and an unflattering comparison with the equivalent period of 2013.
‘Our fixed income, credit and commodities (Ficc) business continued to face many of the challenges seen in the second half of 2013 with a significant year-on-year reduction in Ficc income, reflecting difficult market conditions and a strong comparative performance for Q1 last year,’ Jenkins said.
He added that the bank’s equities and investment banking arms performed ‘broadly in line’ with last year, though.
Jenkins assured shareholders that his ‘strategic cost management’ initiatives had started to provide ‘a material benefit across all businesses’ during the quarter.
‘This has helped to provide an offset to the income performance in Ficc and, compared to Q1 of the prior year, is expected to result in a small reduction in adjusted profit before tax for the group,’ he commented.
In early trading this morning, the bank’s share price rose by 1.4% to 252p.