Barclays Sets Aside a Further 1 Billion Pounds for Mis-selling Costs


LONDON -- Following yesterday's news that two senior executives are to resign from the bank, Barclays this morning informed the market of its intention to contain additional provisions to the tune of 1 billion pounds for Interest Rate Hedging Products (IRHP) and Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) in its full-year results, due in a week's time on Feb. 12 .

Barclays has increased its provision for IRHP redress by 400 million pounds at Q4 2012. This brings the cumulative provision to 850 million pounds, of which 36 million pounds had been utilised as at Dec. 31,2012.

This follows the bank's pilot review of IRHP sold to small and medium-sized enterprises, alongside the FSA's report on this review and those conducted by other banks.

Additionally, Barclays will also provide a further 600 million pounds for PPI redress, principally as "a result of a higher than anticipated response rate to pro-active mailings in Q4." This brings the cumulative provision to 2.6 billion pounds, of which 1.6 billion pounds had been utilised as at Dec. 31, 2012.

Management commented: "Based on claims experience to date and anticipated future volumes, the provision represents Barclays best estimate of expected future PPI redress payments and claims management costs. Barclays will continue to monitor actual claims volumes and the assumptions underlying the calculation of the PPI provision."

Further news was released by the bank this morning, announcing the appointment of Diane de Saint Victor as a non-executive director.

De Saint Victor is currently general counsel, company secretary and a member of the group executive committee of ABB Limited, the Swiss publicly listed international power and automation technologies company. She was formerly senior vice-president and general counsel of EADS, the European aerospace and defence company whose proposed merger with BAE Systems recently broke down.

Barclays chairman Sir David Walker commented: "I am pleased to announce Diane's appointment to the Barclays Board. Her background in legal and regulatory matters and in leading cultural change at ABB will bring a valuable perspective to the Board as we implement the TRANSFORM programme and embed Barclays new Purpose and Values."

With De Saint Victor's previous responsibilities at ABB including head of Legal and Integrity Group, Barclays have acted swiftly and installed a highly respected individual following the bank's recent management overhaul, which should go some way to appeasing shareholders.

Indeed, Barclays shares lifted marginally on both sets of news this morning, up 1.2% to 295 pence.

There is clearly some doubt still surrounding the banking sector at the moment, though, despite the good gains made by the likes of Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, and RBS since the new year began, as the shadow of the Libor scandal remains hanging over them.

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