By Marcus Leach

Barclays have announced that their pre-tax profits for the opening six months of the year are 33% down on the same time period from last year.

The £1 billion set aside for settling the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) affected profits hugely, leaving them at £2.6 billion.

The bank also said it earned less from investments in bonds and commodities.

However, Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond said the bank would keep up their Project Merlin payments.

"We are meeting our Project Merlin commitments and have extended £20bn of new lending to businesses in the first half," he said.

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