It's a grim day to be a challenger bank, with shares taking a nosedive following bad Brexit vote news

Hayley Kirton
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The bad news just seems to keep coming for challenger banks (Source: Getty)

A slew of trading suspensions for property funds along with some stern words from the Bank of England has made this a bad day to be a challenger bank.

Shares in many UK challengers, including Shawbrook, OneSavings and Virgin Money, all slid after Aviva became the second property fund to suspend trading in just as many days.

M&G revealed later on in the afternoon that it too had opted to suspend trading on M&G Property Portfolio, while Standard Life Investment put a halt to trading on its UK real estate fund yesterday.

Aviva's announcement came shortly after a Bank of England report revealed that challenger banks were less shielded from the downturn in the commercial property sector compared with their larger counterparts, thanks to the higher proportion of more highly leveraged commercial real estate loans they tended to hold.

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Shawbrook's shares closed down 14.2 per cent, while Virgin Money was down 14 per cent, OneSavings was down 11.6 per cent and Aldermore down 9.5 per cent.

Today's revelations are something of a kick in the teeth for challenger banks, which had already seen their share price tank following last month's unexpected Brexit decision.

Shawbrook's shares have performed particularly poorly. The challenger revealed a £9m impairment charge in a trading update released a week after the referendum, shaving a fifth of its share price in the early hours of trading.

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Shares in Shawbrook are now trading more than 50 per cent where they were prior to the EU membership vote.

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