FILE PHOTO: Chief executive officer of Barclays, Jes Staley, takes part in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in New York
INTERNATIONAL - Barclays chief executive Jes Staley said yesterday he wouldn’t panic after one bad trading quarter. Now he’s had three.

The British bank plunged the most since the aftermath of the Brexit vote after it posted the worst markets performance in Staley’s two-year tenure.

Revenue from trading stocks, bonds and currencies fell 31percent in the third quarter, the lender said yesterday, trailing most Wall Street rivals that posted an average 15 percent decline.

The stock fell as much as 7.2 percent in London trading, wiping more than £2 billion (R37 billion) from the value of the company. Barclays has lost about 17percent this year, making it the worst performer in the Bloomberg Europe 500 Banks and Financial Services Index.

“We obviously want to see a marked improvement in all areas of the markets business,” Staley said on a call with analysts, describing the quarter as “tough” compared with US peers. “The third quarter was clearly a difficult one for us. The lack of volume and volatility hit revenues hard across the industry.”

The consecutive declines in earnings will make it harder for Staley to win over some investors sceptical of his strategy to build up the investment bank, which has long been Barclays’ least profitable unit. It increases pressure on the chief executive, who is under investigation by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority for attempting to unmask a whistle-blower.

Executives introduced new deadlines yesterday for improving profitability to mollify impatient investors. Barclays isn’t the only European bank losing ground to Wall Street.

Deutsche Bank, which also reported third-quarter results yesterday, said its trading income declined 30 percent. Staley has made building up the investment bank the centrepiece of his strategy to revive earnings at Barclays.

- REUTERS