Virgin Q1 mortgage lending up 30% to £2.1bn

Virgin Money's Edinburgh-based CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia

Challenger bank Virgin Money said it grew its gross mortgage lending by 30% to a record £2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

Newcastle and Edinburgh-based Virgin Money said it now has a 3.4% share of the UK mortgage market.

It said residential gross lending grew by 35% and buy-to-let gross lending grew by 17% in the first quarter.

Virgin Money said that in the first four months of 2016, it successfully offered two issues of residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) totalling £1.3 billion.

It said that in those securitization deals the bank extended its reach in the wholesale markets “beyond Sterling and Euros into US Dollars for the first time.”

It said both securitization offerings saw strong demand and were multiple times oversubscribed. 

Virgin Money said its credit card balances surpassed £1.8 billion at the end of the quarter.

Virgin Money has a target of £3 billion of credit card balances by the end of 2017.

Compared to the first quarter of 2015, deposits at Virgin Money have increased by 18% to £26.3 billion.

The bank said it had mortgage balances of £26.5 billion at March 31.

“I am delighted to report it has been another excellent quarter for Virgin Money,” said Virgin Money chief executive officer Jayne-Anne Gadhia.

“We had a record start to the year for mortgages and our savings franchise continues to flourish with a strong inflow of cash ISAs.

“I am particularly pleased with the performance of the credit card business which continues to exceed expectations one year on since launching to the public.”

Virgin Money said it is likely that the volume of buy-to-let lending will reduce in the second quarter.

It warned that the EU referendum remains the “largest source of domestic uncertainty.”