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...