Barclays beats profit expectations on credit card boom
Barclays reported better than expected first-quarter profit on Thursday after a strong performance from its credit card business offset pressure on other business lines.
The British bank’s pretax profit of 2.6 billion pounds ($3.25 billion) beat analyst forecasts for a repeat of the previous year’s 2.2 billion pounds.
Analysts at JPMorgan said Barclays delivered a “solid” set of results that could lead to upgrades in analyst forecasts for the bank’s full-year profit.
Income at the lender’s consumer, cards and payments division rose 47% to 1.3 billion pounds thanks to rising credit card balances driven partly by its acquisition of a portfolio from retailer Gap last year.
While higher credit card spending boosted Barclays’ finances, there were signs this could have a sting in the tail. The bank’s bad loans provision for the quarter soared to 524 million pounds from 141 million a year earlier, which it blamed mainly on its U.S. cards business.
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