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Household name to hit home loan market

An Australian challenger bank is preparing to launch a new range of home loan products under one of the most recognised brands in the world as it looks to reach a new demographic of mortgage customers.

Speaking at the release of the group’s full-year profit results last week, BOQ chief executive Jon Sutton said he was “very excited” to announce that the bank is on track to launch its Virgin Money mortgage product through the broker channel in March next year.

“This allows us to grow in a customer demographic unseen at BOQ,” Mr Sutton said.

“Soon after we will follow this up with Virgin deposit products, further diversifying our retail funding base.”

Virgin Money was active in the Australian mortgage space and available through the broker channel for a number of years. The group first announced its plans to enter the mortgage market in 2011 after forming a successful partnership with Citibank in 2009.

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BOQ acquired Virgin Money in April 2013. The regional lender paid approximately $40 million for the exclusive Australian rights to the retail arm of Virgin Group and its brand.

BOQ group executive of retail banking, Matt Baxby told Mortgage Business earlier in the year that Virgin Money is strategically important to the organisation.

“It will allow BOQ to enhance its on-balance sheet growth and Virgin Money to expand its product offering to customers,” he said.

“One of the factors that really attracted BOQ to the Virgin Money business was the opportunity to distribute banking products and services to new customers who are unlikely to ever be BOQ-brand customers.”

Mr Baxby was CEO of Virgin Money Australia for three years before joining BOQ in 2013.

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Household name to hit home loan market
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