Countrywide comments on the sale of Northern Rock to Virgin Money

Countrywide

Friday, November 18, 2011

Commenting on the sale of Northern Rock to Virgin Money,Grenville Turner, CEO of Countrywide, the UK's largest mortgage broker andProperty Services Group said;

"We welcome the purchase of Northern Rock by VirginMoney, as the new brand and investment earmarked to help boost mortgageslending volumes is positive news for consumers and the housing marketgenerally.

"As the UK's largest mortgage broker we know how consumers choose between mortgage providers. The Virgin brand has become synonymous with championing the consumers cause and the experienced Virgin Money team will bring additional competition in the UK Banking sector which is welcome."

"Whilst we can take some solace that Northern Rock staff numbers will not be added to the rocketing unemployment figures, what does thismean for current Northern Rock mortgage customers and general mortgage lending levels? It is very likely that there will be no change to repayment levels and remortgaging is only likely to be marginally easier that it may have been."

"It will definitely be interesting to seewhat affect Virgin's entry has in the mortgage lending arena. I believe that Virgin Money will work with intermediaries to reach a wider breadth of mortgage customer. Virgin have already committed to relaunching its One account whichwas the first to offer offset mortgages. It seems that Virgin Money could offera real alternative to the six major banks, which collectively have 80 percent of the current UK mortgage market."

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