Virgin Money profits dive 77% as it braces for bad loans

Virgin Money, the UK’s sixth largest lender, has suffered a 77% drop in pre-tax profits to £124 million this year due to its half a billion-pound worth bad loan charge.

This has resulted in a statutory loss after tax of £141 million.

Before impairment charges, Virgin Money’s underlying profit stood at £625 million

The company, which initially planned for an impairment charge of £232 million, has now upped this figure by £501 million to a staggering £735 million.

David Duffy, Virgin Money’s CEO, says the “results reflect a cautious and conservative approach to the coming period”.

Despite being unable to measure the true impact of the pandemic on its loan balance sheet, the firm is still preparing for borrowers not being able to repay their loans.

The CEO is not convinced the recent vaccine news is enough to guarantee immediate economic recovery, with restrictions still in place for the immediate … Read the rest

Sunak must act quickly to ease hospitality sector's Covid jitters

For lockdown-stricken businesses, any form of certainty about support is crucial at this point

“Our economic emergency has only just begun,” Rishi Sunak warned this week. On Thursday, the next stage of that emergency intensified for tens of thousands of businesses as new lockdown restrictions for England were announced. “At best, a restrictive straitjacket, and at worst a lockdown in all but name,” said UK Hospitality, the trade body.

That analysis seems accurate since about 98% of the sector’s trade has been placed in tiers two or three. If the new restrictions are sustained until the end of March, the largest part of a cashflow-dependent industry will have been operating under some version of lockdown for about five months without a break.

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UK reporter Payne departing Business Insider

Adam Payne, a Business Insider reporter covering Brexit, is leaving the news organization for Politics Home. He will start his new job on Jan. 11. “I cannot thank BI enough for helping make my...

The post UK reporter Payne departing Business Insider appeared first on Talking Biz News.

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Square and Tencent lead €93m Satispay funding round

Italian mobile payments start-up Satispay has announced a €93 million Series A funding round co-led by Square and Tencent.

Satispay founders Alberto Dalmasso, Dario Brignone and Samuele Pint

The round consists of €68 million of newly issued primary shares and approximately €25 million secondary shares purchased from existing investors.

Satispay has raised €110 million in primary capital since its launch in 2013. The Series A has valued the fintech at €180 million.

The firm plans to use the funds to consolidate its “leadership position in Italy”. It also aims to continue an international expansion which started in Luxembourg and Germany.

Satispay claims to have processed more than 21.5 million transactions in 2020, amounting to €400 million in transaction volume.

The start-up has recorded “significant growth” in customer and merchant sign-ups during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 450,000 new users and 35,000 merchants signed up over the year.

“Every day the … Read the rest