Virgin Money reports sharp rise in profits
Virgin Money has reported a sharp rise in profits for the first half of the year, adding that it is well placed to deal with the fallout of Britain's decision to quit the European Union.
The Sir Richard Branson-backed bank said that underlying pre-tax profit rose 53% to £101.8 million as net lending hit £2.2 billion, an increase of 29%. Credit card balances increased 31% to £2.1 billion.
On the Brexit vote, the lender said: "Virgin Money is in a strong position to deal with a period of post-referendum uncertainty. Since the vote to leave the EU we have experienced continued strong customer demand and no evidence of changes in customer behaviour."
However, the bank also noted that the mortgage market could slow, unemployment could rise and interest rates "could be reduced and stay low for a long period of time".
The bank added that it has decided to defer plans to enter the small business and unsecured lending arena.
Chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia said: "Virgin Money is in a strong position to deal with a period of post-referendum uncertainty as a low-risk retail bank with a high-quality asset base and unburdened by legacy conduct issues."