Virgin is set for a further push into financial services in a move designed to take advantage of the public’s mistrust in the UK’s biggest banks.
The Richard Branson-owned Virgin Money is understood to be ready to apply for a banking licence from the Financial Services Authority to allow it to offer savings and mortgages online for the first time , according to reports.
According to The Observer newspaper, Branson is also considering a further bid for the now nationalised Northern Rock if the Government decides to sell all or part of the bank ahead of the election next May.
Virgin failed in its much reported bid to buy acquire Northern Rock last year before it was nationalised by the Government.
The move follows that of Tesco, which indicated earlier this year that it was planning a deeper push into financial services in a move many observers believed was an attempt to take advantage of public mistrust in banks.
Virgin Money, which is headed by former Norwich Union marketing director, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, is to take over from Flora as title sponsor of the London Marathon next year.