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January 8, 2010

Virgin Money acquires private bank

by Gill Montia

Story link: Virgin Money acquires private bank

Virgin Money is acquiring private bank, Church House Trust, for £12.3 million plus an injection of capital into the business of £37.3 million.

The move will accelerate Virgin’s entry into the UK retail banking sector by providing “a strong platform for growth”, according to the group’s founder, Sir Richard Branson.

Virgin has long been linked to Government plans to create three new “boring” retail banks from the dissolution of Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Northern Rock.

The group is understood to have formally registered an interest in acquiring part of Northern Rock, which has now been split into a “good” and “bad” bank.

Meanwhile, Church House Trust, which is based in Somerset, provides an ideal springboard as it offers both deposits and mortgages and relies on its retail deposits, rather than money market borrowing, to fund lending.

Virgin Money chief executive, Jayne Anne Gadhia, comments: “We see the acquisition of Church House Trust as a strong and sensible first step in delivering Virgin Money’s banking ambition.”


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