Virgin Money gears up for high street push

Virgin Money is continuing to gear up for its push into retail banking by appointing three new senior executives.

Former Lloyds executive Marcus Ezekiel has been hired as commercial director, while former director of savings at Bradford & Bingley, Ian Cornelius has been named banking director. Finlay Williamson has been appointed as finance director.

The hires follow the acquisition of private bank Church House Trust last week.

The deal means the finance company can now accept deposits and offer customers mortgages and saw the Sir Richard Branson-owned firm acquire a banking license to support its expansion on to the high street.

The firm hopes its retail banking operation will provide a “better, different form of banking” after public trust in the sector was hit by the financial crisis.

Virgin Money is also believed to be readying a bid to buy 300 Royal Bank of Scotland branches.

The sale of the outlets, which traded as William & Glyn’s in England and Wales, is part of a wider disposal program ordered by the European Commission after the Government took a 70% stake in the bank in the wake of the financial crisis.

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