The banking giant Barclays has reported pre-tax profits of £6.07 billion for 2010, an increase of almost a third on those it enjoyed in 2009.
The group had the dubious honour of opening the bank reporting season, when the profits, lending figures and pay packages of the UK's leading financial institutions are laid bare for scrutiny.
Lending in the UK by the bank of £36 billion represented only a slight increase on the figure of £35 billion reported in 2009.
However, gross new mortgage lending rose to £16.9 billion, up from £14.2 billion in the previous year.
The average loan-to-value ratio of the bank's new mortgage lending increased to 52%, up from 48% in 2009.
It seems certain that the lending figures will rise in the coming year after Barclays last week agreed to sign up to Project Merlin.
Under the agreement, the UK's biggest banks have promised to lend £190 billion to businesses in 2011.
Also part of the deal with the Government was a pledge relating to the size of bonuses and pay disclosure.
On this contentious issue, performance related pay at Barclays dropped by 7% across the group as a whole.
A12% drop in bonuses was seen in its investment banking operations, Barclays Capital.
However, its investment bankers saw their total pay increase, as salaries improved to replace the lower bonuses.
"I am proud of what we achieved in 2010, especially our profit growth and enhanced capital and liquidity positions," said Bob Diamond, Barclays' chief executive.
Barclays was one of the banks which did not require Government assistance to ride out the financial crisis.
The figures of state-backed Lloyds, RBS and Northern Rock, particularly with regard to pay, are sure to be put under severe scrutiny as they did have to accept the Government's help.
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