Barclays' pre-tax profits surge while it keeps quiet about Brexit

James Jes StaleyGettyJames ‘Jes’ Staley, Chief Executive Officer,Investment Bank J.P. Morgan speaks at the Robin Hood Veterans Summit at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on May 7, 2012 in New York City.

Barclays reported a surge in pre-tax profit in 2016, reaching £3.2 billion from £1.1 billion the year before.

“A year ago we laid out our intention to accelerate the restructuring of Barclays and refocus our business as a transatlantic, consumer, corporate and investment bank, anchored in London and New York,” said Jes Staley, CEO of Barclays.

“We have made strong progress against this agenda in 2016.”

In its results, however, Barclays did not mention anything about any Brexit contingency plans or reports surrounding relocation plans.

On January 20, Staley admitted that operations will likely be shifted out of London as a result of the government’s hard stance on Brexit.

“We may have to move certain activities, we may have to change the legal structure that we use to operate in Europe,” he said.

“Whether he have to route some activities through Ireland, or do something in Germany, those are the options that we are looking at.”

He did not give any indication of how many jobs may be moved out of London and insisted that he believes the City will remain the “financial lungs” of Europe after Brexit.

“I don’t believe that the financial centre of Europe will leave the city of London. There are all sorts of reasons why I think the UK will continue to be the financial lungs for Europe,” he said. “The bulk of what we do will continue to occur in London in my view.”

This story is developing …

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