Following the unveiling of a 33% slide in first-half pre-tax profits, to
£2.8bn and a £2.4bn write-off of bad loans, Bob Diamond,
Barclays president, denied the bank’s
accounting needed improvement after suggestions it was not conservative enough.
‘Clearly, there has been some noise in that area from people with vested
interests in making it appear that way,’ he told The Times.
He argued Barclays had successfully offloaded £6b of assets at prices at or
close to their value in the books, giving the lie to critics who said that it
had overvalued problem assets. ‘There’s no better proof than that,’ he said.
Barclays also defended its policy of ignoring falls in the market prices of
leveraged loans, arguing that, because it plans to hold its £5b of buyout loans
to maturity and the borrowers are meeting all interest payments, there is no
need for a markdown.
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