Virgin Money to launch own credit card business

Source: Virgin Money

Virgin Money has today announced that it will launch its own credit card business following an agreement to buy £1 billion of assets from the Virgin credit card portfolio from MBNA Ltd, part of Bank of America Corporation.

Virgin Money has partnered with MBNA since 2002 to provide marketing and direct distribution of Virgin credit cards. The programme is currently managed and serviced by MBNA through a partnership agreement. The acquired credit card book will be transferred fully to Virgin Money's own operations in early 2014. Until then, existing customers will continue to be serviced by MBNA, along with any new customers who choose a Virgin credit card.

There will be no changes to customer pricing or core terms and conditions as a result of this transaction and customers can continue to use and service their Virgin credit card in exactly the same way as normal.

David Buxton will be Managing Director of the Virgin Money Cards business. Mr Buxton has extensive knowledge of the credit cards industry having spent the last four years leading Virgin Money's partnership with MBNA.

Lance Weaver, former Vice Chairman of MBNA Corporation, is joining Virgin Money as President, Virgin Money Cards, and will be based in the UK. Mr Weaver has extensive banking and cards industry experience including periods at Wells Fargo and Citibank, as well as serving as Chairman of MasterCard International Inc.

Virgin Money's credit card operation will be based in Gosforth, Newcastle and is expected to create at least 150 new jobs, bringing further employment to the North-east region.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Chief Executive at Virgin Money said: "Launching Virgin Money Cards is an excellent strategic opportunity for Virgin Money, in a market we know well. A credit card business will complement our existing mortgages and savings business and represents another significant step in growing our bank. I am delighted that Lance Weaver will be joining us and that we will be able to benefit from his expertise and his experience. There is no-one better to help us build a cards business that can bring some fresh new competition to the UK market".

David Buxton, Managing Director, Virgin Money cards said: "Having worked to grow the Virgin Money cards business over the past four years, I am looking forward to leading this next significant step in its evolution. We have a tremendous opportunity to build a significant new competitor in the UK cards market and by focusing on doing things better for customers, we can do just that."

Lance Weaver, President, Virgin Money cards said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to join Virgin Money at this point in its growth. Cards are an important part of any bank's offering to its customers and we have the opportunity to build an excellent credit card business within the bank. I am particularly pleased to be joining a company, led by Jayne-Anne, that includes a number of people who I have worked with over the course of my career and who I hold in such high regard."

Virgin Money customers can continue to use and service their Virgin credit card in exactly the same way as normal, and there will be no changes to customer pricing or core terms and conditions as a result of this transaction.

Virgin Money has been advised on the transaction by RBS and Allen & Overy.

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