Virgin Money boss David Duffy said the lender was braced to support customers through a cost of living crunch today as it reported a jump in digital personal and business accounts in the third quarter of the year.
In the three months to the end of June, the bank said it had notched a 45 per cent rise in personal and business accounts compared to last year, alongside a 3.8 per cent rise in unsecured lending to £6bn.
Business lending remained stable at £8.3bn as a drop in balances brought on by the end of government support schemes offset a rise in business-as-usual lending growth.
In a statement today, Boss David Duffy said the firm had “another positive quarter, financially and strategically” as it grew its balance sheet across “all target areas” and kicked off an inaugural buyback programme. However, he warned of the impact of a coming slowdown on the firm’s customer base this year.
“Looking out into an uncertain economic environment, while our asset quality remains resilient and customers aren’t yet showing signs of financial stress, we are helping our customers and colleagues navigate what will be a more difficult period for many,” he said.
The bank also raised its margin forecast for the year after a series of rate hikes by the Bank of England, which are set to boost profitability with borrowing levels high. Net interest margin – a key indicator of profitability – is now expected at 185 basis points to September 2022, up from a previous forecast of 175 basis points.
The results come after Virgin Money announced the launch of a buy-now pay-later credit this month which is set to be launched to customers later this year.