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Another billion plus for Barclays

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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Scott Jagow: Just about every big bank in the world had some exposure to the subprime market. Every day, we’re hearing about write-downs. Banks have to adjust their books to reflect the lowered values of these investments. Another one today from Europe.

We’re joined now by our London correspondent, Stephen Beard. Who is it this time?

Stephen Beard: Barclays. And it’s just revealed that it’s written off $1.64 billion in October due to subprime losses. That brings the write-down for Barclays so far this year to around $2.64 billion.

Jagow: You know that’s, that’s actually not a lot compared to some of the other banks we’ve heard about. Is there a reason for that?

Beard: Well, it isn’t very much. In fact, the investment banking division of Barclays, Barclays Capital, is making more money so far this year than it was last year. This write-down is certainly much smaller than market rumors had suggested. I mean, Barclays stock has been absolutely hammered in recent weeks after rumors circulated that it had lost as much as 20 billion on subprime. The bank vehemently denied this and it brought forward its trading statement by two weeks to scotch the rumors. Barclays shares jumped 6 percent on the news.

Jagow: All right Stephen, thank you.

Beard: OK Scott.

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