Lender Virgin Money has revealed a hit to mortgage lending amid a "difficult" market and intense competition.

The group - formerly known as CYBG - reported a 0.8% fall in mortgages to £59.6 billion in the final three months of 2019 as it held off from slashing rates to attract borrowers.

It said the first quarter drop was expected as it looked to focus on higher growth areas, such as business and personal lending, and attract more savings business.

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Chief executive David Duffy cautioned that ongoing Brexit uncertainties were also taking their toll on the wider banking sector.

The group, which is rebranding its Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank businesses as Virgin Money - saw customer deposits grow 1.6% to £64.8 billion over its first quarter.

Business lending also surged 2.5% to £8.1 billion as it was boosted by customers switching from Royal Bank of Scotland after it took a slice of the part-nationalised lender's fund aimed at increasing competition in Britain's banking sector.

But Virgin Money said the switching demand from RBS customers was weaker than expected.

Mr Duffy said: "In a difficult market, our own performance has remained on track and we continue to make strong progress on our ambition to disrupt the status quo.

"We are attracting relationship deposits and delivering growth in customer balances across business and personal, while maintaining our discipline in a competitive mortgage market."

He added: "While sentiment improved following December's election result, the UK banking market continues to face competitive pressures and uncertainty over the final Brexit settlement."

Just Eat has announced plans to partner with McDonald's as the takeaway delivery business ramps up its brand-focused growth strategy.

The company, which has agreed a merger with Takeaway.com, revealed the deal as it reported trading in line with expectations for the past year.

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It said underlying earnings for 2019 were around £200 million, with group orders of around 254 million and revenue of approximately £1 billion.

The company said this means earnings will be towards the top end of its forecast range for the year.

Just Eat saw UK sales jump 8% during the year as it secured more branded delivery partners.

It will now work with McDonald's in the UK and Ireland, becoming the US takeaway giant's second delivery partner in the UK after rival Uber Eats.

Just Eat said the delivery service will be implemented during 2020 and comes after McDonald's hailed strong uptake since it first launched a delivery service.

The delivery group has also recently signed deals with partners including Greggs, KFC and Burger King, after previously focusing on independent takeaway operators.

Peter Duffy, Just Eat's interim chief executive, said: "We are pleased to confirm underlying earnings towards the top end and revenue broadly in line with the guidance range we provided at the start of 2019, notwithstanding the significant developments during the year.

"We are delighted to announce that we have agreed to partner in the UK and Ireland with McDonald's.

"This partnership, along with our recently announced relationship with Greggs, will require significant investment but will accelerate our growth ambitions and enhance our market position by offering our customers the widest choice available."

The update comes days after the competition regulator announced it would investigate Just Eat's £6 billion merger with Dutch firm Takeaway.

Cat Rock Capital, which owns 3% of Just Eat's shares and 6% of Takeaway's, heavily criticised the inquiry which it said was "shocking and clearly unwarranted".

Saga's tour operation revenues are expected to be down around 5% compared to the prior year, after taking a hit from the Thomas Cook collapse.

The firm said: "We are seeing a much more resilient picture in those parts of the business where our customer proposition is truly differentiated, notably in escorted tours."

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However, it added that "the administration of Thomas Cook in the second half has resulted in approximately £4 million of one-off costs".

the UK's specialist in products and services for life after 50, provides the following update on trading covering the period from 1 August 2019 to 27 January 2020.

Saga added: "We continue to focus on disciplined execution of the strategy set out in April, against a backdrop of a challenging external environment in insurance and travel.

"We expect full year underlying profit before tax to be in line with our previous guidance."

Its insurance broking business continues to show clear signs of progress and it had sold 317,000 three-year fixed price policies, with over 60% of direct new business customers choosing this product since it was fully launched. 

In cruise,  it said it is "building on the excellent progress over the first half of the year", and the first six months of operation for the Spirit of Discovery have been successful, adding: "Customer feedback has been very positive and we expect the new ship to achieve EBITDA of more than £20 million for the second half."