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Virgin Money mortgage book hit as lender opts out of rate wars

  • 28/01/2020
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Virgin Money mortgage book hit as lender opts out of rate wars
Virgin Money’s mortgage book took a hit after the lender refused to slash rates or boldly loosen criteria to win extra customers at the end of last year.


The lender said it opted out of “aggressively” competing for business in the three months to December 31, the first quarter in its reporting period.

The bank’s loan book shrank 0.8 per cent to £59.6bn during the period, down from £60.1bn in the previous quarter.

This equated to a 3.3 per cent annualised fall.

Lenders often cut rates or widen product appeal at the end of the year in a scramble to meet company lending targets.

But Virgin Money said it instead remained “disciplined” in the competitive market.

The dip in mortgage balances had therefore been expected, the group said in the quarterly trading update.

The lender became the sixth biggest bank after it was bought by CYBG in 2018.

As the group prioritises value, it said it expects to maintain its four per cent mortgage market share.


Business and personal lending up

Virgin Money’s business lending grew by 2.5 per cent and 3.7 per cent respecitively, helping to offset the reduction in mortgages.

The group lent companies £8.1bn in the quarter, which equated to growth of 9.9 per cent annualised.

And “high quality” credit card growth pushed personal lending up to £5.2bn.

Chief executive David Duffy 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.”

The boss warned UK banks will remain under competitive pressures while facing Brexit uncertainty.

He added: “However, we continue to focus on supporting our customers in their everyday lives, delivering on our strategic priorities and meeting our medium-term financial targets.”


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