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Board changes at bank

Moreno to retire as Virgin profits rise sharply

Virgin flag 2
Virgin board changes (pic by Terry Murden)

Virgin Money has begun the search for a new chairman after announcing that Glen Moreno is to step down next year and return home to the US.

Mr Moreno, a former director of Lloyds Banking Group, replaced David Clementi in 2015.

Peter Bole, who joined as chief financial officer from Tesco Bank in January, becomes an executive director and joins the board as announced at the time.

His £3 million package made him one of the biggest signings involving two Edinburgh-based banks.

Peter Bole
Peter Bole: transfer

Mr Moreno said: “I am delighted to welcome Peter to the Virgin Money board.  He brings an extensive background in strategic financial management and has already made a strong contribution to our strategy aimed at delivering growth, quality and returns.”

The board moves came as Virgin announced underlying profit before tax up 26% to £128.6 million helped by growth in the bank’s core mortgages, savings and credit card businesses. Statutory profit before tax increased to £123.8m, compared to £93.7m in H1 2016.

There was a 7% growth in customer loan balances.

Virgin Money is to become Virgin Atlantic’s UK retail financial services partner in 2018. The partnership will offer customers a range of benefits, including Flying Club miles.

The board declared an interim dividend of 1.9p per ordinary share to be paid in September 2017.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive said: “The momentum of the business demonstrates the strength of our strategy and the focus we have on serving our customers. Our drive to maintain excellent asset quality, deliver customer satisfaction and retention, combined with continuing operational leverage, helped deliver a 26 per cent increase in underlying profit before tax to £128.6 million.

“In line with our ambition to make ‘everyone better off’, our continued focus on delivering excellent customer service led to new highs in customer satisfaction with our overall Net Promoter Score improving to +39, making us one of the best-rated retail banks in the UK.

“Our deposit franchise is flourishing, we have maintained our stringent focus on the prime segment of the credit card market, and continue to deliver high-quality mortgage lending growth.

“We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Virgin Atlantic which will offer an exceptional experience for Flying Club members. With our shared brand and closely aligned values, we expect this to create a valuable strategic partnership for the business.

“The development of our digital banking platform, in collaboration with 10x Future Technologies, is progressing to time and budget and we believe will be transformational for the business.

“We will continue to drive growth, quality and returns, put customers at the heart of everything we do, and we remain on track to sustain a solid double-digit return on tangible equity (RoTE) in 2017.”

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