Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond said the bank has had an encouraging start to the year, across key areas such as retail and investment banking.

Commercial and investment banking had enjoyed a pleasing increase in volumes, continuing a strong January, Diamond told Reuters, repeating comments made to analysts and investors at a Morgan Stanley conference on Tuesday.

He added the retail business had also had a good start to the year.

Investment banking in particular had been hit hard in the second half of 2012 at most major firms by turmoil in the euro zone.

(Reporting by Steve Slater, Writing by Sarah White, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)