Virgin Money to open coffee lounges

Virgin Money, the online bank, is to open four customer experience lounges in the UK, its first foray into the high street.

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The lounges, in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Norwich, have been designed to generate good feeling between customers and the bank at a time when consumers lack trust in financial institutions.

Customers will be able to have coffee in the lounge and buy Virgin Money products if they wish, but the company says the lounges are not designed as bank branches with selling in mind.

A spokesperson for the company says the lounges will provide a high street experience of the online brand ahead of a planned move to open 70 transactional branches in the next five years.

Virgin Money is planning to buy assets and branches up for sale by Lloyds and Northern Rock.

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