Barclays bank Q3 pretax profit down 76 percent

LONDON (AP) — British bank Barclays PLC on Tuesday reported a 76 percent fall in pretax profit to 327 million pounds ($527 million) in the third quarter due to a loss at its investment banking arm and write-downs.

The group took a 947 million pound charge on its own credit. Investment branch Barclays Capital, meanwhile, reported a pretax loss of 182 million pounds, down from a 369 billion pound profit a year earlier.

The banking group’s top-line revenues for the quarter fell 10 percent to 7.41 billion pounds. It did not report a net profit figure.

Barclays, one of the few British banks not to resort to a multibillion government bailout, said it is “well equipped” to deal with new, tougher capital requirements, the so-called Basel III rules.

“Our income and profit performance was resilient for the first nine months of 2010 despite a subdued economic environment and moderate volumes,” said Chief Executive John Varley.

While profits were up at Barclays’ retail division, the slower performance in the investment arm reflects weaker market activity across the sector.

Richard Hunter, Head of U.K. Equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said the results sent “conflicting messages which may see more cautious investors continue to shun the stock for the moment.”

He said recent updates from the bank “have provided some concerns over the slowing earnings momentum at BarCap, which has suffered as with many other investment banking operations in the midst of the market’s volatility.”

Barclays shares rose 2.5 percent to 292.7 pence ($4.71) on the London Stock Exchange.

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