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Barclays boss predicts biggest economic boom

International desk || shiningbd

Published: 14:46, 30 April 2021  
Barclays boss predicts biggest economic boom

The UK is about to experience its biggest economic boom since the aftermath of World War Two, according to Barclays boss Jes Staley.

His upbeat assessment came as Barclays revealed its profits for the first three months of this year had more than doubled from a year earlier to £2.4bn.

"We estimate the UK economy will grow at its fastest rate since 1948. That's pretty spectacular," he said.

The vaccine programme and built-up savings will help to drive the rebound.

Staley said that a combination of the successful vaccine rollout and Barclays' estimate of an extra £200bn sitting in customer and company bank accounts meant the UK would join the US in seeing some of the fastest economic growth in decades.

The boost in Barclays' latest profits was almost entirely driven by a more confident view on how many of its loans would be repaid.

This time last year, the bank set aside more than £2bn to cover the risks that borrowers would be unable to repay all of their debts. This time round they are setting aside just £55m.

Interestingly, Barclays - unlike other big banks in the UK and US - have decided not to adjust previous estimates of bad loan previsions, but hinted that they will do so in future.