In its Q1 results, the lender also said its digital bank is making “good progress,” alongside its small to medium-sized business banking roll-out.
Virgin CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia said: “We launched our SME deposit account in January and look forward to additional product launches later in the year. We have seen a stronger than expected customer response to the launch of our first Virgin Atlantic frequent flyer cards and we continue to make good progress in the development of our digital bank.”
On mortgages, Gadhia said: “In addition to the strategic initiatives, we are focused on growing assets at the right price and quality in a competitive mortgage market.”
Over 2017, Virgin achieved a gross mortgage lending share of 3.3% and despite a strong commitment to brokers, further progress in the direct channel saw the number of mortgage applications increase by 12% year-on-year with the value of direct mortgages exceeding £1bn for the first time.
Virgin said the digital bank will be underpinned by “next generation technology and architecture offering a personalised universal account and linked savings products.”
In its annual results the bank said it expected to be able to compete with the incumbents for lower cost current account balances.
“The operating cost per customer of the digital bank will also be lower than in our core bank, improving our cost-efficiency once operating at scale. Overall, we expect that our strategy will not only result in enhanced returns for shareholders in the longer term, but also enable us to continue delivering innovative products and outstanding service to our customers,” it said.