The UK bank posted profit before tax of £1.1 billion, almost double the £507 million analysts had forecast. Provisions for bad loans at £607 million were also way below analyst expectation and 63% down on the previous quarter.
However, the UK bank intends to keep a tight rein on costs as it looks to the lessons learned from the Covid pandemic about the economic benefits of staff working from home. Currently, 55,000 of its 80,000 roster are working remotely. The bank says it has relocated call centre staff to bank branches rather than sweeping office space.