Barclays beats forecasts, though profits halve

It could be a good sign for the UK's big banks.

Barclays profits fell much less than expected.

For 2020 they dropped to about 4.3 billion dollars.

That was way better than forecast.

The lender was helped by a strong year for its investment bank.

It will now resume paying dividends as a result.

Barclays shares still tumbled though, down over 3.5% by early afternoon.

Investors noted the bank's vague outlook for the year, which gave no set profit targets.

Barclays would only say its return are set to improve 'meaningfully'.

Some industry-watchers also question whether the investment bank's strong performance can last.

Barclays meanwhile warned that its loss-making consumer business was still under pressure.

Even so, analysts say the forecast-beating numbers bode well for other UK banks set to report in the coming days.