However, the continued “margin pressure” from the competitive mortgage market saw its net interest margin dip from 3.49% at the end of 2017 to 3.23% at the end of last year.
As part of its annual results, Barclays also revealed that 30 per cent of its mortgage switches were conducted through its online channel.
The lender said it was focused on growing its mortgage book within a conservative risk appetite.
As such the average loan to value (LTV) of new mortgage lending of 65% was barely changed from 2017, as was the average LTV of the whole mortgage portfolio at 48%.
Barclays also noted that buy-to-let lending formed a “small proportion” of its overall mortgage book totalling just 12 per cent.
UK profits up
Overall, Barclays saw its pre-tax profits hold steady at £3.5bn which included £2.2bn of conduct charges related to a £1.4bn settlement with the US department of justice and £400m to cover payment protection insurance (PPI).
Its UK arm’s profit before tax increased to £2bn from £1.7bn, however it has set aside £150m for the ‘uncertainty ahead.’
Group CEO Jes Staley said the last year represented a very significant period for Barclays.
“In the course of the year, having resolved major legacy issues and reduced the drag from low returning businesses, we started to see the earnings potential of the bank, as the strategy we have implemented began to deliver,” he said.
“This was evident in the improved performance across the group compared to 2017.”
He added: “The progress made on these key measures demonstrates that our plan is working and we have a strong foundation on which to achieve our returns targets for this year and next.”