Groovy Virgin looking to snap up Northern Rock and 600 Lloyds branches


High Street banking in the UK could be heading for its biggest shake-up since the ‘topless loans’ scandal of the mid-1970s. That’s because shy, retiring billionaire and Noel Edmonds lookalike Sir Richard Branson could be muscling his way in.

It’s looking increasingly likely that Northern Rock will be going up for sale sooner or later and 600 Lloyds branches could also be on the market. Branson’s Virgin Money is in a prime position to snap them up and tragically, the bearded old moneybags intends to add ‘a bit of glamour’ to banking. It might have been better if he’d vowed to add ‘a bit of not treating the customers like scum’ to banking but you can’t have everything.

But even if they aren’t successful with the acquisitions, Virgin are aiming to have a full financial product range, kicking off with four ‘lounge-style banks’ (in Edinburgh, Manchester, London and groovy Norwich) lined up to open by the end of 2011.

What would it take for you to switch your bank account over to Branson’s ‘glamorous’ branches of Virgin Money? And don’t say topless loans cos they’re never coming back...



  • The B.
    I had a Virgin Credit Card, never again, trying to shut it down was a nightmare, they couldn't give me a redemption figure so I had to pay off the total and wait a day until they calculated that days interest. Then at the end of the month the account ended up in credit and they didn't know why, but wouldn't give me the money back (about £1.50) until the end of the following month because they though it might be interest I owed, I don't think they even sent me the money in the end and I couldn't be arsed to chase because it was more hassle than the £1.50 was worth.
  • Dick
    A free round the world hot air balloon ride.
  • Sawyer
    As I understand it, if you're a Lloyds customer and your account was opened at one of the branches being sold, you'll be sold as well. The buyer will take over your account. So what will it take to become a Virgin customer? Just a bit of bad luck, it seems.
  • reverbnation
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