Barclays reports pre-tax profit of £6.08bn

Barclays has posted an annual pre-tax profit for 2008 of £6.08bn, down 14% from the previous year.

The bank, which has so far rejected any cash handout from the government, has recorded gross write-downs and impairment charges of £8.05bn.

For its UK retail banking division Barclays reports a profit before tax of £1.37bn, a drop of 7% from 2007 figures.

Pre-tax profit for Barclays Capital, the bank’s investment arm, contracted by a massive 44% from £2.34bn to £1.3bn.

Barclays highlighted its performance in new mortgage lending as a major driver for the group’s success.

The bank claims it has advanced its net mortgage market share to 36% from 8% in 2007.

Net new lending grew to £12.5bn from £8bn.

The average LTV ratio of the mortgage book, including buy-to-let, was 40%, compared to 34% the previous year.

The average LTV for new mortgage lending went down marginally from 2007 levels of 49% to 47%.

Mortgage balances increased 18%, to £82.3bn at the end of last year, with mortgage impairment charges at £24m.

John Varley, group chief executive of Barclays, says: “Our approach of staying close to customers and clients is shown in the increase in our lending volumes, particularly in UK mortgages, where our net lending mortgage market share was 36%.

“The main driver of our results was a solid operating profit performance and record income generation.

“We commit to reducing the size of our balance sheet over time, and we will maintain our capital ratios at levels that are well ahead of regulatory requirements.”

The bank has also pledged to not any executive bonuses for 2008, amid the current row over excessive bonuses awarded to senior banking bosses.