Barclays Reports Profit for 2009

Barclays sold its ETF unit, iShares, to BlackRock in 2009 for ?9.5 billion. Barclays made a profit of ?6.3 billion and received a 19.9% interest in BlackRock. That sale boosted Barclays' profit before tax including the sale of Barclays Global Investors (iShares), to ?11,642 billion for 2009, compared with a ?6,077 for 2008--up 92%. Excluding the Barclays Global Investors sale, the 2009 profit before tax was ?5,311 billion, versus ?6,077, off 13%. Diluted earnings per share were up for 2009, at 81.6p for 2009, versus 57.5p in 2008. See full announcement.

Barclay's Group Chairman, Marcus Agius made an unusual statement in the earnings announcement, opening with this: "The bond of trust between banks and their stakeholders has been significantly weakened by the events of the last three years. Our view is that the vital task of rebuilding that trust will be based on banks acknowledging the mistakes that they have made; on their working with governments, central banks and regulators to create a system which will be resilient to shock; and on their playing a full role in the stabilisation and regeneration of economic health. By being successful, banks can and should make significant contributions to society by facilitating the taking of appropriate risk by those they serve; by lending and investing; by paying dividends and taxes; by creating employment; and, by contributing to the communities in which they operate. But if trust is to be re-established, then banks have to do these things in a way that serves society."

The bank is growing its wealth management arm which includes Barclays' purchase of part of Lehman Brothers. According to Jane Wollman Rusoff, in sister publication Research magazine, the wealth management division continues to thrive. See "Barclays Wealth Advisors: Focusing on Ultra High Net Worth," and, "Barclays Wealth Building Business on Lehman Platform."

Comments? Please send them to kmcbride@wealthmanagerweb.com. Kate McBride is editor in chief of Wealth Manager and a member of The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard.

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