Barclays sinks to loss thanks to $2bn US settlement and more PPI costs

Bank reports quarterly pre-tax loss of £236m, down from profits of £1.68bn in the same period last year
Barclays swung to a loss in the first quarter as further payment protection insurance (PPI) charges and a £1.4bn settlement with the US Department of Justice knocked profits.
The UK bank reported a pre-tax loss of £236m for the three months to 31 March, having reported profits of £1.68bn in the same period last year.
Stripped of litigation and conduct charges, pre-tax profits rose 1 per cent to £1.7bn, while attributable profit came in at £1.2bn.
Read more Barclays boss Staley stronger than he looks in face of activist attack The bank was hit by a $2bn (£1.4bn) settlement reached with the US Department of Justice earlier this month, related to the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the financial crisis.
Chief executive Jes Staley said: “While the penalty was substantial, this settlement represents a major milestone for Barclays, putting behind us a significa..

Poundworld to close up to 100 stores putting 1,500 jobs at risk

Company expected to announce terms of turnaround plan next month
Discount chain Poundworld is pursuing a restructuring plan that could see it shut around a third of its stores, putting more than 1,500 jobs in doubt.
Poundworld is considering a so-called Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), an insolvency procedure which would allow it to slash its rents and close stores.
Under the plans, Poundworld could close 100 of its 355 stores.
Read more Poundworld fined £1.2m for 'out-of-control' rodent infestation Rising costs and a squeeze on consumer spending has forced several household names to pursue CVAs this year, including New Look, Byron, Prezzo and Carpetright.
Poundworld, which is owned by private equity firm TPG Capital, is expected to announce the terms of the CVA next month.
Landlords will then vote on whether to approve the proposal. All of the major CVAs proposed this year have been rubber-stamped by landlords.
TPG Capital also owns restaurant chain Prezzo, whi..

Facebook profits soar 63% to $5bn despite Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal

Facebook profits soared 63 per cent to $5bn (£3.6bn) in the first three months of the year despite the company being engulfed in a data privacy scandal that has angered millions of users.
Allegations that up to 87 million Facebook users’ data was collected without their knowledge and then used by Cambridge Analytica to try to sway the US Presidential election and the Brexit vote, did little to slow the tech company’s rapid growth.
Total revenues jumped 49 per cent compared to the same three months last year, Facebook reported on Wednesday.
Read more Professor apologises for helping Cambridge Analytica harvest data Facebook has been scrambling to mollify angry politicians and reassure users that it will safeguard their personal information.
Amid the turmoil, observers were keenly watching the company’s user figures to assess the potential damage and see if the scandal would suppress Facebook’s growth.
Despite high-profile social media campaigns calling users to boycott Faceboo..

Barclays boss Staley stronger than he looks in face of activist attack

The bank's past problems are unwinding as it attempts to get clarity on Edward Bramson's demands
On the eve of Barclays results, the elephant in the room decided to trumpet.
Activist investor Ed Bramson, who is advocating a shake up, upped his stake in the bank that he has built up through his investment vehicle, Sherborne.
It was only by a bit, from 5.16 per cent to 5.41 per cent, but people like him don’t have to do much to get the markets and media saying “ooh look at that” and Mr Bramson was thus being talked about as much as the bank’s first quarter results when they were released.
Read more Barclays: Can whistleblowers be confident after FCA warns CEO Staley? Barclays boss Jes Staley to be fined over whistleblower scandal Barclays agrees to pay $2bn to settle US fraud case They showed a loss, partly because of still more payment protection insurance compensation provisions, partly because of the $2bn (£1.2bn)cost of settling a mortgage mis-selling case in the U..