Barclays reports loss of £394 million amid plans to split into two divisions

Barclays reported a net loss of £394 million for 2015 after legal costs and fines ballooned to more than £4.3 billion.

The bank plans to sell its African banking arm and split up into two divisions — one focusing on UK high street banking, and the other handling international corporate and investment banking activity.

“At the heart of Barclays strategy is to build on our strength as a transatlantic Consumer, Corporate and Investment bank anchored in the two financial centres of the world, London and New York,” CEO Jes Staley said in a statement on Tuesday.

The new structure will help simplify the bank, Staley said.

“Their creation as sibling divisions, which will become our ring fenced and non-ring fenced legal entities in due course, simplifies the Group and concentrates Barclays’ competitive advantages in the right places,” said Staley.

The split has been driven by regulatory reforms in the UK aimed at protecting retail depositors from more risky investment banking activities, as well as tougher global capital rules.

Provisions for payment protection insurance mis-selling increased to £2.2 billion from £1.2 billion in 2014, while the bank also took a £580 million loss on the sale of its Spanish, Italian and Portuguese banking units.

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