Dow Jones Newswires: Barclays profit misses views as CEO faces regulatory probe over Epstein link

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Barclays PLC said Thursday that Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley retains the board’s full confidence despite a U.K. regulatory investigation concerning his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, as it reported its 2019 results.

The Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority are investigating how Staley characterized the relationship to the company and how Barclays subsequently described it to the FCA.

The U.K. lender said it will continue to cooperate fully with the regulatory investigation and noted Mr. Staley has had no contact with Epstein since becoming CEO in 2015.

Barclays BCS, -0.11% BARC, +0.18%  made a pretax profit of 4.36 billion pounds ($5.65 billion) for the 2019 compared with GBP3.49 billion a year earlier.

Analysts had expected Barclays to report a pretax profit of GBP4.44 billion, taken from FactSet and based on 14 analysts’ estimates.

The British bank booked a GBP1.4 billion provision for expected payment protection insurance costs in the third quarter of 2019, in line with previous guidance.

Net operating income slightly rose to GBP19.72 billion from GBP19.67 billion, when it was forecast to reach GBP21.53 billion, taken from FactSet and based on 15 analysts’ estimates.

Income from Barclay’s corporate-and-investment bank rose 4.7% to GBP10.23 billion.

The London-listed lender said its return on tangible equity came to 9.0% for the year and added that it would be challenging to achieve a target greater than 10% in 2020 The company had previously said it aimed for a RoTE greater than 9% in 2019, and 10% in 2020.

The bank declared a final dividend of 9.0 pence a share, up from 6.5 pence a share a year earlier.

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