Barclays has reported a 29pc fall in pre-tax profit to £1.7bn for the six months to June 30, having been knocked by charges in the first quarter. Those charges included a £400m PPI provision and a £1.4bn settlement with US authorities over its sale of mortgage-backed securities in the lead-up to the financial crisis. When stripped of litigation and conduct costs, half-year pre-tax profits rose 20pc to £3.7bn. Total income for the period was flat at £10.9bn. Chief executive Jes Staley said the first half of the year was characterised by “strong financial performance and increased profitability”. He noted that the second quarter was notably the “first quarter for some time with no significant litigation or conduct charges, restructuring costs or other exceptional expenses which hit our profitability. “In effect then, it is the first clear sight of the statutory performance of the business which we have re-engineered over the past two and a half years – Barclays’ transatlantic consumer and wholesale bank – and it is a positive sight.” Barclays said the second quarter was its most profitable in more than three years, having taken no material litigation and conduct charges, PPI provisions or exceptional adjustments. Statutory pre-tax profits for the period came in at £1.9bn, up from just £659m during the same period last year. Total group income for the second quarter rose 10pc to £5.6bn.