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Barclays sees huge rise in lending as profits soar

Barclays witnessed a massive jump in mortgage lending last year to make up for a disappointing 2005.

Gross advances at the lender, whose mortgage business is run under the Woolwich brand, were 60 per cent higher at £18.4bn than the £11.5bn in 2005, with a market share of 5 per cent, up from the previous year’s 4 per cent.

Last year, Barclays was forced to admit that its mortgage performance in 2005 was not good enough.

The group recorded a 35 per cent increase in profits from £5.3bn – £7.1bn. Chief executive John Varley says: “Barclays had an excellent year in 2006. We anticipate the needs of customers and clients.”

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