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All-round growth in Q3

Punk cards help Virgin build share of credit market

anarchy VirginVirgin Money said there had been strong demand for its new ‘punk’ credit cards which had exceeded expectations and will help it achieve its targets.

The company took a 1.8% share of the £62 billion cards market in the first half of the year and said this momentum has continued into the third quarter. Data from the Bank of England showed it had increased its share of the cards market to 2% at the end of August.

Virgin has appointed George Ashworth from ABN Amro to head up its SME banking business. He has a 25 year track record which includes a period at Aldermore Bank.

The business has shown all-round growth in the third quarter, including a good showing in mortgages.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive, said: “I am delighted with the strong performance of the business in all areas in the first nine months of 2015. I am particularly pleased with the continuing strength of our mortgage business. Gross mortgage lending increased by 38% to £5.5 billion and net lending almost doubled to £2.6bn compared to the first nine months of 2014.

“The demand for our new range of credit cards has exceeded expectations in the quarter as customers have responded to the quality and breadth of our proposition. As a result we remain confident that we can grow our credit card business to our target of £3 billion of balances by the end of 2018.

“Q3 has seen a continuation of delivery on our promises on all key metrics. In the same way, we have continued to build out our capabilities and we have made further and considerable progress towards our long-term strategic objectives. We remain focused on delivering growth, quality and returns for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.”

Virgin Money grew gross mortgage lending by 38% to £5.5 billion in the first nine months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. Total gross mortgage lending in the market increased by 2.6%1 in the eight months to the end of August compared to the same period in 2014.

The group’s share of gross mortgage lending in the first eight months of the year was 3.5%1. Net mortgage lending almost doubled to £2.6bn from £1.3bn in the first nine months of 2014 while mortgage balances at 30 September 2015 were £24.5bn, an increase of 12% from £21.9bn at year end.

During the quarter Virgin Money continued to manage the cost of funds successfully. Retail deposits increased by 3% from 30 June 2015 to £23.7 billion.


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