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Barclays bank falls into net loss on charges

LONDON--British bank Barclays, rocked by a rate-rigging scandal earlier this year, said on Wednesday it fell into a nine-month net loss because of huge accounting charges.

Barclays, which also took a large provision for insurance misselling, said in a results statement that losses after taxation stood at 200 million pounds (US$321 million) in the nine months to September.

That compared with 2.7 billion pounds last time around, and the bank's shares fell sharply.

The bank had already flagged two weeks ago that it would take a 1.01-billion-pound charge on the rising value of its own debt.

The group, which suffered a boardroom shake-up after the Libor interest rate-rigging scandal, had also announced it would set aside another 700 million pounds to compensate clients missold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).

Barclays added however that adjusted pre-tax third-quarter profits before exceptional items rallied 29 percent to 1.727 billion pounds, boosted by its investment banking division. That was in line with the company's own guidance.

“These results demonstrate that we continue to have good momentum in our businesses despite the difficulties we faced through this period,” said chief executive Antony Jenkins in the earnings release.

“While we have much to do to restore trust among stakeholders, our universal banking franchise remains strong and well positioned.”

The bank also revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission were “undertaking an investigation into whether the group's relationships with third parties who assist Barclays to win or retain business are compliant with the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”

It added that it would “fully” cooperate with authorities.

Barclays also announced that the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Enforcement has been investigating Barclays power trading in the Western U.S. with respect to the period from late 2006 through 2008.

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