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Barclays' profit rises; sets aside $800M for fines

British lender Barclays reported on Thursday a slight rise in underlying pretax profit in the three months to the end of September of £1.59 billion, up 1 percent from the same time a year before, despite facing a series of regulatory difficulties.

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Barclays has set aside £500 million for investigations into its role in the alleged rigging of foreign exchange rates. The bank is currently negotiating a settlement over this scandal, with other banks involved.

The bank is facing a host of regulatory and reputational issues.

It has also faced hefty payouts over Libor rigging and the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal in the U.K. - and has made provision for a further £170 million payout over PPI.

Barclays passed euro zone stress tests with a 7.1 percent tier 1 capital ratio (the pass mark was 5.5 percent) last week. However, it faces tougher UK stress tests in December, where the focus will be on its leverage ratio. The Bank of England is expected to set a level of 4-5 percent for U.K. banks – Barclays is currently at 3.5 percent.

It has maintained a dividend of 3p per share for the quarter, despite anticipated pressure on its capital position. The better-than-expected profit figure came from the retail and Barclaycard side of the business, while investment banking, where profits fell by 38 percent, continued to drag overall results down.

Antony Jenkins, chief executive of Barclays, said in a statement: "This is a good performance from the group, our strategy is working, and we expect to see continued progress as we go forward."

- By CNBC's Catherine Boyle