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14th February 2020
Barclays reports "another year of progress"
Jes Staley, Group CEO said: “2019 was another year of progress for Barclays, continuing the positive momentum across our business and allowing us to increase returns to shareholders.
Excluding litigation and conduct, profit before tax was up 9% to £6.2bn, and Group return on tangible equity improved to 9.0% for the year, in line with our target for 2019.
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Disciplined cost management and income growth resulted in a cost: income ratio of 63%, excluding litigation and conduct, and we saw positive jaws across all operating businesses, allowing us to continue investment in our service to customers and clients, including future growth opportunities, as well as improving profitability.
Barclays is a British universal bank, with a well-balanced mix of consumer and wholesale businesses, across geographies and currencies: this helps us deliver year-on-year improvements in profitability during a period of macroeconomic uncertainty.
We continue to believe that it is appropriate to target a return greater than 10%, and we are managing our business to achieve that. However, given the low interest rate environment, it has become more challenging to achieve that target in 2020. Nonetheless, Barclays is confident of further improving returns meaningfully this year.
Looking ahead, we will extend our customer reach by using our current strengths-our brand, our existing digital proposition, our universal banking model, and leading market positions. We will accelerate our digital journey, and continue to play a leading role in capturing innovation and bringing it to life, at scale, for millions of customers and clients. In this way, we will invest for growth in areas that are less capital intensive, further diversifying the Group without limiting our commitment to the businesses we already have.
Through continued cost discipline, we will also create the capacity to make targeted investments across our business.
With continued strong capital generation and a CET1 ratio of 13.8%, we are pleased to be able to deliver improved returns to shareholders, and have declared a total dividend of 9 pence per share–up from 6.5p in 2018, and three times that of 2017.
We expect future earnings to drive increased returns to shareholders, as we anticipate a significant reduction in charges related to litigation and conduct from this year onwards. We intend to pay a progressive ordinary dividend supplemented with additional cash returns to shareholders, including share buybacks, as and when appropriate.
I look forward to delivering for all of our stakeholders in 2020 and beyond.”