Barclays CEO Staley Says Concerns Over Problem Loans Diminishing

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Barclays Plc CEO Jess Staley said the bank is increasingly optimistic about multibillion-dollar loan portfolios, which he fears could deteriorate due to the pandemic.

“Fears of depreciation will ease slightly,” Staley said in an interview on the Qatar Economic Forum’s Bloomberg on Wednesday. the savings that give us a big cushion. “

Rival UK banks, including Lloyds Banking Group Plc and NatWest Group Plc, have already begun to release some of the reserves they have built up in anticipation of bad loans as Covid-19 hit the economy. However, Barclays retained £ 4.8bn ($ 6.7bn) from last year. Staley previously said the bank could release some of the funds during 2021 if activity recovers.

“I’m actually very excited as we approach the second half of this year that economic growth is going to be robust and we’re going to get out of this pandemic,” Staley said.

Following a rapid transition to work from home during the outbreak, Barclays is currently redefining its real estate needs to cut costs and adapt to hybrid work models. “I’d be surprised if most people spent more than four days a week,” Staley said.

“We want people to come to the office while maintaining some flexibility,” he added. “We have a lot of people coming to work all over the world. Our trading tables are filled from 60 to 70% ”.

Staley said these traders have seen “market volatility softening” in recent months, leading to record profits at the start of the year, while equity and advisory market activity “has been quite high.” His comments followed after the CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Jamie Dimon recently reported a 38% drop in trading revenue.

Staley is awaiting news from the Bank of England on whether creditors will be allowed to pay dividends on their semi-annual profit in the coming weeks. “We are fully committed to” returning the surplus capital to shareholders, ”he said.

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