The LSE auditorium was 50% full with the CEO, FD and the new Group Business transformation officer, ex BT on a well branded stage taking the questions. The market cap is around £2.5bn but a big bank in many respects, but one the BoE/ regulators should want to support more? Always been a tech leading bank. The share been friendless for a while.

Underlying profits were £539m, down 9% but a statutory loss of £194m recorded due to legacy conduct costs, restructuring, acquisition costs and a Q4 provision of £385m. Nice list. CET ratio was 13.3%. A CMD was held 5 months ago and investors not reassured though the last orders for PPI information requests played a big part with the figures.

The CEO and FD have been the same for a long time, unlike other banks. Doing ‘quite well’ with the uncertainties around the FD pipped. Asset growth was 2.9%. Deposit growth was up 7% or £3bn. Pro forma underlying PBT was £286m, costs reduced from £505m to £480m in the 2H. The FY cost reduction was 6%, income down 3% with a cost income ratio of 57% and mid 40s by 2022 the target. Impairment was upped to £77m, with IFRS9 playing a part so reducing RoTE from 11% to 10.4%. Mortgages been quiet but a better 2020 expected, being back to flat.

December current account launched and commercial to follow with a Virgin brand loyalty launch in 1H and a better high street deposit account is planned. The new salary finance product is selling well. The big news was the cut in the dividend ( but only a recent thing) and the shares have gone up 22%, so far today. The Virgin brand played a large part of the presentation, re branding the bank, related events and reminding me of the Saatchi bid for Midland but no marketeer was on the stage, yet. A loyalty programme, joining all Virgin brands is available for a money account holder and next year is the 50th year of the brand. Party time.

The closing PPI application was big ( murdered the shares) and technology working its way through the duplicates etc. A £385m Q4 PPI hit is taken being from 410k requests for information, now whittled to 325k (…

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