The same applies to the 4% jump in the share price. The rise merely returned the shares to where they were a month ago before
But, yes, a little credit is due. There is a sense New Barclays is finally taking shape. The retail bank, the corporate bank and Barclaycard all recorded stronger profits in the first half of this year. The bits of
The big mystery, and the main reason for the shares' lowly rating, is the investment bank. Profits there plunged by 46% in the six months, contributing to an overall fall of 7% in group profits to pounds 3.35bn.
That outcome in investment banking was better than many had feared given the whirl of internal restructuring and weak trading volumes in many corners of the market. But whether a healthy investment banking core will emerge in, say, a year's time once the cost-cutting and retreats from capital-intensive areas have been completed, remains an open question. The division's return on equity was 5.7% in the first half - miles away from earning the right to exist, even in a slimmed-down form.
We have yet to see whether Jenkins can stick to his promise to tie bonuses to performance. Last year he capitulated to avoid the risk of what he called a "death spiral" of defections. Yesterday
Technically speaking, the plea is semi-understandable: the new system of deferring bonuses complicates the arithmetic. But silence offers shareholders no clues on whether Jenkins has discovered his backbone on bonuses. If he has not, improvements elsewhere will count for little.
One other figure leaped from the results statement - a fresh pounds 900m provision for payment protection insurance, taking
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