Image: Håkan Dahlström Image: Håkan Dahlström

Barclays has reported a 25% fall in profits for the first quarter following a slump in its investment banking division.

The bank's pre-tax profits for the quarter fell from £1.1 billion in the same period last year to £793 million.

In addition to a weaker performance in investment banking, Barclays reported losses from bad loans and higher operating costs. However, the bank last month warned that it expected weaker profits in the first quarter following a "particularly strong" March last year.

In March, Barclays posted an 8% fall in annual profits for 2015.

Chief executive Jes Staley said Barclays had made "good early progress" on his major restructuring and cost-cutting plan, which includes separating its main retail and corporate banking businesses as part of banking regulations designed to keep the general public safe from poor decisions in the investment banking division.

Mr Staley said the sale of unprofitable areas of the business helped to cut costs "which have a direct impact on our profitability today and mask the true performance of our strong core business".

"We continue to target cost reductions in the group and we are on track to meet our 2016 guidance," he added.