Oct 30 - Barclays is cooperating with regulators investigating possible manipulation of currency trading by banks, deepening scrutiny of its conduct as it also grapples with a slump in investment banking income. David Pollard reports
Britain's third largest bank is - like many - grappling with a slump in investment banking. And that's not its only worry. It's just admitted it's co-operating with regulators investigating the possible manipulation of currency trading. It's not the only bank under the spotlight over the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market. But after the LIBOR rate-rigging scandal and other regulatory issues there are worries over its financial muscle. Robert Cole is from Reuters BreakingViews SOUNDBITE (English), Robert Cole, Assistant Editor, Reuters Breakingviews, saying: "We think that underlying, it's not too bad. But what is perplexing us, or what we're questioning, is whether Barclays has enough capital. And this is a particularly pertinent point, I think, because it only just held a rights issue. And now, you know, barely a couple of weeks, a couple of months down the line, you know, there are some noises coming out of Barclays HQ saying, well, perhaps we have to do something else." Barclays boss Antony Jenkins has been trying to change the bank's bad boy reputation. But the string of inquiries and a trading slowdown in its core bond market activities is making the job hard. Underlying pretax profit for the three months to the end of September was 1.4 billion pounds - down from 1.9 billion a year ago - a 26% drop. And profits at Barclays investment bank fell by more than a half over the same period to 463 million pounds. It was the investment unit's lowest profit since the end of 2011.