Virgin Money profits surge

Tim Wallace
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CHALLENGER bank Virgin Money reported healthy profits for the first half of the year yesterday, giving the lender a boost as it considers floating on the stock market in 2015.

The bank, which bought Northern Rock from the government at the start of last year, became profitable in the final quarter of last year.

Its full year results show an underlying loss of £8.4m in 2012, an improvement from losses of almost £60m in 2011.

However in yesterday’s trading update Virgin Money revealed it has been profitable since the end of last year.

The bank gained another 500,000 customer accounts in the five months to May, as well as an additional £19.5m in deposits and another £17.9m of mortgage loans.

And it is expanding into new business lines.

“The acquisition of a £1bn credit card portfolio at the start of 2013 provides the platform for the launch of our own credit cards business,” said the bank’s chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia.