17 August 2017
Find out more

Virgin buys regional bank for high street push

08 January 2010  |  13679 views  |  0 Dollar note jigsaw

Virgin Money has taken a decisive step into the UK retail banking market after agreeing to buy the small regional private bank Church House Trust for £12.3 million.

The financial services arm of Richard Branson's empire will also pump £37.3 million of new capital into Yeovil-based Church House Trust, which reported operating income of £4.05 million and profit before tax of £0.45 million for the year ended 31 December 2008.

Virgin Money already claims over 2.5 million customers, offering credit cards, personal loans, savings products and insurance but has long sought to take on the high street banks with a full retail offering and failed in a bid two years ago to buy Northern Rock.

It will now use Church House Trust as a platform to offer products such as deposit accounts and mortgages under the Virgin Money brand. The group is expected to initially focus its efforts online but could later develop a high street presence, possibly via an acquisition.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive, Virgin Money, says the acquisition is a "strong and sensible first step in delivering Virgin Money's banking ambition" as it seeks to take advantage of public disillusionment with traditional lenders.

"The financial crisis has tarnished the reputation of many UK banks. Virgin Money will provide a better, different form of banking to its customers, increasing competition in the sector," says Gadhia.

Branson adds: "The Church House Trust business offers us a strong platform for growth. Virgin Money aims to bring simplicity to the UK banking market which has traditionally been a complex sector."

Virgin Money's application to take over Church House Trust, has already been green-lighted by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Branson is not the only player to heed the UK government's call for new entrants into the retail banking market. Retail giant Tesco recently rebranded its personal finance unit Tesco Bank "in recognition of our longer-term objective of creating a full-service retail bank".

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

Tesco Bank selects Fiserv to provide core technology platform

Tesco Bank selects Fiserv to provide core technology platform

20 November 2009  |  16731 views  |  0 comments
Virgin Money applies for banking license

Virgin Money applies for banking license

26 October 2009  |  9886 views  |  1 comments
Virgin plans Internet bank

Virgin plans Internet bank

18 May 2009  |  17611 views  |  2 comments
Tesco to take on UK's retail banks

Tesco to take on UK's retail banks

28 July 2008  |  15496 views  |  0 comments
Virgin eyes US peer-to-peer loan market

Virgin eyes US peer-to-peer loan market

18 May 2007  |  15091 views  |  0 comments

Related company news


Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
visit www.worldpaymentsreport.comvisit www.dorsum.eudownload the paper now

Who is commenting?

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
Coinbase raises $100mCoinbase raises $100m
10505 views comments | 14 tweets | 14 linkedin
DBS Bank launches online car selling marketplaceDBS Bank launches online car selling marke...
9909 views comments | 13 tweets | 11 linkedin
China preps central clearing house for mobile payments providersChina preps central clearing house for mob...
9861 views comments | 8 tweets | 15 linkedin
Monzo appoints Curve co-founder Foster-Carter COOMonzo appoints Curve co-founder Foster-Car...
8223 views comments | 1 tweets | 3 linkedin
hands typing furiouslyCompliance: Overcome the data deficit
7688 views 0 | 1 tweets | 8 linkedin

Featured job

Competitive base and bonus, plus benefits
London, UK

Find your next job