A sign hangs above an entrance to a branch of Barclays Plc bank in the City of London, U.K.

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LONDON — Barclays on Friday reported first-quarter net profit of £1.7 billion ($2.37 billion), helped by a fall in loan impairment charges.

The British bank said these charges had fallen “significantly” in the first three months of the year to £55 million — down from £2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2020.

It also reported a rebound in equity trading and investment banking.

Analysts had expected net income to come in at £1.3 billion for the first three months of the year, according to Refinitiv. The British bank posted net income of £220 million for the fourth quarter of 2020.

Other highlights for the quarter:

  • Revenues hit £5.9 billion, down from £6.3 billion a year ago.
  • CET 1 ratio, a measure of bank solvency, came in at 14.6%, a fall from 15.1% last quarter.

“While momentum in the consumer businesses, particularly card balances, will take time to build, Barclays secured significant new growth opportunities in Q1 (first quarter),” Jes Staley, CEO of Barclays said in a statement.

“While evidence of recovery is encouraging, we have continued to take a cautious view of the impact of the pandemic on the business. We remain disciplined on costs, with a cost to income ratio of 61% this quarter,” he added.

Shares of Barclays are up about 31% since the start of the year.

This is a developing news story and will be updated shortly.

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