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Barclays: may have to cut lending to hit PRA target early

A woman sits in her mobility scooter outside a Barclays Bank in Leicester, central England April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Darren Staples
A woman sits in her mobility scooter outside a Barclays Bank in Leicester, central England April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Darren Staples

LONDON (Reuters) - Barclays said it has options to meet a new leverage ratio imposed by Britain's financial watchdog, but warned it will have to cut lending if it is forced to meet the target quickly.

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) last week said Barclays fell short of a 3 percent leverage ratio requirement, with a ratio of only 2.5 percent after adjustments, and the bank had until the end of July to tell it how it will improve.

Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins said on Friday the bank would achieve the target by 2015 under its existing plans.

"We have options to accelerate with minor income effects, but an aggressive acceleration requirement from the PRA would require additional actions that could restrict our ability to extend balance sheet availability to customers, including potentially lending to the UK and other economies, which is something we want to avoid," he said.

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Clare Hutchison)

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