By Jason Theodorou

Barclays has seen pre-tax profits of £3.95 billion for the first half of 2010, an increase in half-year profits of 44%. Most of the profits came from Barclays Capital, the bank's investment arm, which made £3.4 billion.

Barclays also said that it lent £18 billion to UK businesses and households over six months. Earlier in the week HSBC reported first-half profits of £7 billion, while Lloyds saw profits of £1.6 billion.

Interim bank reports have shown a return to profit for the sector, with even the embattled Royal Bank of Scotland expected to announce results on Friday which show it has returned to the black.

Chancellor Goerge Osborne is seeking to ensure that banks lend more to businesses, as part of the economic recovery. This view is also held by Prime Minister David Cameron, who said this 'has got to happen'.

Chief executive of Barclays John Varley said:"Against the backdrop of of subdued economic and market activity and the sovereign debt storm of the second quarter, we have delivered good growth in income and profits...We recognise our wider social responsibility as an enabler of economic growth and prosperity, and our actions are - and will continue to be - informed by this duty".

Investors were frustated by the results, as most of the profits were generated by Barclays Capital rather than the main bank. Shares fell by 7.4p to 332.5p at the opening of trading in London.

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