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Strong start to the year

Record mortgage lending for ‘confident’ Virgin

Virgin flag 2Virgin money is lending to home buyers at record levels and said it expects the trend to continue this year.

Record gross mortgage lending in the first quarter of £2.1 billion was 30% higher than the same period in 2015. It gives the Edinburgh and Newcastle based bank a 3.4% market share.

Credit card balances surpassed £1.8 billion at the end of the quarter as the company continued to grow the cards book towards target.

The current account, investments and insurance business showed “continued modest progress” during the first quarter and income growth in this segment is expected to be weighted towards the second half of the year.

Costs were in line with expectations and the cost:income ratio reduced further due to continued operational leverage.

The company said it is “well placed to navigate the economic uncertainty related to the lower for longer interest rate environment, the upcoming EU referendum and the evolving UK and European regulatory framework.”

Its update added: “The EU referendum remains the largest source of domestic uncertainty. Irrespective of the outcome of the EU referendum, Virgin Money will continue to focus on growing the business by supporting customers with good value products and services and delivering strong shareholder returns.”

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive, said she was “confident” about the bank’s immediate outlook.

“It has been another excellent quarter for Virgin Money,” she said. “We had a record start to the year for mortgages and our savings franchise continues to flourish with a strong inflow of cash ISAs.

“I am particularly pleased with the performance of the credit card business which continues to exceed expectations one year on since launching to the public.”

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