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Barclays plans higher dividends despite FY'17 loss of £1.92B

Barclays Plc posted a significant loss for 2017, driven in part by a one-off charge resulting from the recent U.S. tax reform, but said it plans to more than double its dividend for 2018.

The British lender reported full-year 2017 group loss attributable to ordinary equity holders of the parent of £1.92 billion, compared to a profit of £1.62 billion in 2016. The loss per share was 10.3 pence, compared to EPS of 10.4 pence a year earlier.

The result included a one-off net tax charge of £901 million due to the reassessment of its deferred tax assets in the U.S. as a result of the recent U.S. tax reform as well as £2.53 billion in losses related to the sell down of unit Barclays Africa Group Ltd.

Pretax profit from its corporate and investment bank division reached £2.06 billion in 2017, down 22% from the year-ago £2.65 billion. Pretax profit from the U.K. business, meanwhile, came in at £1.75 billion, compared to £1.74 billion a year earlier.

For the fourth quarter of 2017, Barclays reported a group loss attributable to ordinary equity holders of the parent of £1.29 billion, compared to a year-ago profit of £99 million.

Net interest income for the quarter fell year over year to £2.27 billion from £2.52 billion, while net fee, commission and other income increased to £2.75 billion from £2.47 billion.

Credit impairment charges and other provisions narrowed on a yearly basis to £573 million from £653 million. Litigation and conduct costs, however, widened to £383 million from £97 million.

The bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 13.3% at 2017-end, compared to 12.4% at the end of 2016.

Return on average tangible shareholders' equity stood at negative 3.6% for 2017, compared to positive 3.6% a year earlier. Barclays said it is targeting a return on tangible equity, excluding litigation and conduct, of more than 9% in 2018 and more than 10% in 2020, based on a group CET1 ratio of approximately 13%.

The bank said it will pay a final dividend for 2017 of 2.0 pence per share on April 5, bringing the total dividend to 3.0 pence per share for the year. Barclays added that it expects to resume a total cash dividend of 6.5 pence per share for 2018.

CEO Jes Staley said: "While we still have a number of legacy conduct issues to address, I am confident in the capacity of this business to generate excess capital going forward, and it remains our intention over time to return a greater proportion of that excess capital to shareholders through dividends, and other means of capital distribution, including share buybacks."