Barclays sets aside £2.1bn to cover coronavirus bad debts

Ryan Fowler

April 29, 2020

Barclays is to set aside £2.1bn to cover a surge in bad debts caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. 

Profits for Q1 2020 were down to £923m, 38% less than during the same period in 2019.

Jes Staley, CEO at Barclays, said: “The impact of COVID-19 came late in what was until that point a good quarter. Statutory profit before tax was £0.9bn and profit before tax excluding credit impairment charges was £3.0bn.

“We have taken a £2.1bn credit impairment charge which reflects our initial estimates of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Staley also said that the rest of the year looked difficult for the bank.

He added: “Given the uncertainty around the developing economic downturn and low interest rate environment, 2020 is expected to be challenging,”

Barclays has issued 3,760 business loans valued at £737m and granted 238,000 customers mortgage and loan payment holidays.

More than six million customers and clients are not currently paying personal overdraft or business banking charges.

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