Virgin Money performs well in a difficult market

VIRGIN Money today said it had continued to perform well in a difficult market.

David Duffy has led the group during a period of change.This year the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks will be changing their logos to Virgin, and Virgin Money will launch a business current account.

In an update, Virgin Money UK PLC confirmed that trading in the three months to December 31 2019 was in line with the board's expectations.

Virgin Money reported a drop in first-quarter mortgage lending amid intense competition, but notched up a hike in savings business.

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The group - formerly known as CYBG - reported a 0.8% fall in mortgages to £59.6 billion in the final three months of 2019 as it held off from competing to attract borrowers in a competitive market.

David Duffy, Chief Executive Officer, said: "The group continues to perform well. In a difficult market, our own performance has remained on track and we continue to make strong progress on our ambition to disrupt the status quo.

"We are attracting relationship deposits and delivering growth in customer balances across business and personal, while maintaining our discipline in a competitive mortgage market.

"We have also now delivered on our commitment to lend £6bn to SMEs over the three years to the end of 2019, with £6.5bn lent in total. This included lending of £1.3bn in Scotland, £0.9bn in Yorkshire, £0.9bn in the North West and £0.5bn in the Midlands, demonstrating our support for SMEs across the regions of the UK.

"We've launched the first Virgin Money digital personal current account and unveiled three new Virgin Money concept stores as planned in December. We are also progressing at pace with our plans to launch new and exciting Virgin Money products for personal and business customers throughout 2020."

The group said it had achieved customer deposit growth in Q1 (the first quarter) of 1.6 per cent to £64.8bn with "good relationship deposit performance".

The group is undergoing a major transformation, which started in 2018 when Virgin Money was bought by CYBG, the company behind Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank.

In October the business started re-branding, to bring all of its services under the Virgin brand.

This year the Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks will be changing their logos to Virgin, and Virgin Money will launch a business current account.

The B digital banking service already changed its name to Virgin Money last year.

In today's trading update, the company said that the Virgin Money rebrand programme has now started.

The statement added: "In December we successfully launched the first ever Virgin Money digital personal current account, which has been rated 'outstanding' by Moneyfacts, to our B customers and all new customers.

"We also began the rebrand of our store network, with three Virgin Money concept stores launched in Manchester, Birmingham and London, while an extensive programme to rebrand the entire network will accelerate during H2 2020.

"In tandem with the rebranding process we will be delivering a series of product, proposition and feature enhancements across our Personal, Business and Mortgage channels, benefitting from the introduction of a rewards-based programme leveraging the Virgin brand."