Barclays bank has announced a £1.82 billion rise in profits for the first three months of 2010.
Britain’s second largest bank said a decline in bad debts and improving financial markets helped it notch up the first quarter increase of almost 50 per cent, most of which came from investment banking arm Barclays Capital.
The results were announced on Friday in the banking group’s interim statement, which also showed that profit before tax also increased 20 per cent to £238m compared with £199m last year.
John Varley, group chief executive at Barclays, said: "I am pleased with the strong growth in profits which we have delivered this quarter.
"Diversification of our business and risk, and good underlying performance, have combined to produce this result.
"The improvement that we have seen in impairment reflects the signs of economic recovery now evident in many of the markets in which we operate."
Although the results came with a downside as it was announced that shares in Barclays dropped more than four per cent as investors worried that its recovery, particularly in its key investment bank, may be slowing down.
But despite this news The Share Centre says Barclays is now listed as its top buy for investors seeking growth .
Nick Raynor, investment adviser at The Share Centre, said: "We are still happy with Barclays as our pick of the UK banks. Britain's second largest bank has been our favourite since it refused to be bailed out by the government, instead opting to take matters into its own hands. A further positive sign is the news they have little exposure to the troubled Greek economy.”
The Share Centre also believes that because of Barclays international exposure it is in a stronger position than others such as Lloyds or RBS, which are both part-owned by the government.
© Fair Investment Company Ltd