Virgin Money UK hails resilience amidst a difficult backdrop

Financial services group, Virgin Money UK, has reported a positive financial performance for the year ended 30 September 2023.

It has recorded statutory pre-tax profits of £345m (2022: £595m) and a 5% growth in active relationship customer accounts during the year to 3.8m accounts.

Underlying income increased 8% in the year to £1.9bn, primarily driven by stronger net interest income, with overall lending balances stable at £72.8bn, despite a muted market backdrop.

The bank achieved 9% growth across its target segments of Unsecured and business-as-usual (BAU) Business lending, while its mortgage book reduced 1%.

David Duffy, chief executive officer, said: “We made good progress executing our strategy in 2023, growing both our relationship customer base and target lending segments.

“With the momentum we carry into 2024, we are confident in the outlook for our business and we expect to deliver around £800m in distributions to our investors by the end of the three-year period ending in 2024.

“Under the Virgin brand, our ambition is to create the UK’s best digital bank. To help achieve this goal, we are stepping up investment in our technological capability to future proof our business and protect our customers from the growing risk of fraud strategies driven by advances in AI.”

The bank says it has decided to invest around £130m over three years to deal with emerging risks and technologies, including AI, in the evolving financial and cybercrime space.

Also today, Virgin Money has confirmed a share buyback to repurchase up to £150m in aggregate between its ordinary shares of £0.10 each listed on the London Stock Exchange and CHESS Depositary Interests (CDIs), each representing one share, listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Subject to trading liquidity, Virgin Money intends to complete the repurchase in approximately equal proportions across the two jurisdictions.  

The buyback is expected to begin today, 23 November 2023, and will end no later than 16 May 2024.