Barclays bank said Thursday that it suffered a net loss of £337 million ($546 million, 412 million euros) in the first quarter, due to a huge accounting charge and compensation claims.
The performance in the three months to March contrasted with profit after taxation of £1.24 billion in the same part of last year, Barclays said in a results statement.
The bank also made a pre-tax loss of £475 million, compared with pre-tax profits of £1.65 billion last time around. Revenues sank 25 percent to £5.52 billion.
The results included a further provision of £300 million after the bank was forced to compensate clients who were mis-sold payment protection insurance in Britain, along with other lenders.
Barclays also took a large accounting charge of £2.62 billion on the value of its outstanding debt.
However, stripping out the compensation and other one-off costs, the bank reported a 22-percent rise in pre-tax profits to £2.4 billion, aided by a buoyant investment banking division.
The lender also slashed its credit impairment charges by 16 percent to £778 million in the quarter.
Turning to the eurozone sovereign debt crisis, Barclays added that it has slashed its exposure to Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain by 16 percent to £6.0 billion during the period. Exposure to Greece was "minimal".
"Barclays first-quarter results are an encouraging start to the year," said chief executive Bob Diamond in the earnings release.
He added: "Our rock solid capital, funding and liquidity positions remain a source of competitive advantage and enabled us to fund a substantial proportion of our 2012 term funding requirements."
Barclays published the quarterly results on the eve of its annual general meeting amid mounting shareholder unease over executive pay.
Diamond recently moved to quell a shareholder revolt at its annual general meeting this Friday, by offering to change the terms of his latest annual bonus worth £2.7 million (3.3 million euros, $4.3 billion).
Diamond and group finance director Chris Lucas have agreed not to receive half of their all-shares bonus award for 2011 if certain performance targets were not met within three years.
Meanwhile, Barclays expressed caution over the outlook for the rest of the year, adding that the "continued challenging market conditions mean it is too early to establish the trend for the year".
Source: AFP Global Edition