Barclays reassures shareholders

Barclays has told shareholders it is now looking to create the conditions in which its stock price can move ahead again.

Despite falling short of its 10% to 13% economic profit growth rate target set in 2004, the group sought to assure shareholders that it is well placed to manage financial risk.

The group made the pledge at its annual general meeting yesterday.

John Varley, group chief executive of Barclays, says: “It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that a good banking system is an indispensable part of a healthy modern economy. It would be bad for the world if we were to conclude that banks should stop taking risk.”

He adds: “Innovation and risk taking by the financial services industry has helped to create unprecedented economic growth in the world over the last 20 years. Managing financial risk is what banks do.”