Under new management, Barclays Plc reports on Wednesday as the banking sector appears as a cash machine for shareholders.
Nat West and HSBC have kept investors with their updates in recent days, both showing healthy financials and returns, across dividends and buybacks.
Significantly, it will be the first set of results on the watch of new chief executive CS “call me Venkat” Venkatakrishnan, who replaced Jes Staley in November.
“No doubt Barclays will be looking to put its (bad) habit of firing (or losing) chief executives behind it when it reports its 2021 results,” quipped the pundits at AJ Bell.
“Analysts are looking for a 2021 full-year pre-tax profit of £8.1 billion. That compares to 2020’s £3.1 billion and would outstrip the pre-financial crisis peak of £7.1 billion achieved in 2006.
“It also implies a profit for the fourth quarter alone of just under £1.2 billion, the lowest quarter of the year, although that is relatively normal for banks as they tend to clean up and clear out their books in the final three-month period. (Even then it represents a big step up on 2020’s fourth-quarter result of £646 million),” the investment firm added.
The performance of the investment bank – a division dear to the departed Staley’s heart – could come under scrutiny, as growth appears to be slowing.