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Virgin vows to make a difference in UK banking sector

Virgin Money will offer consumers a fresh and different option to traditional financiers in the UK banking industry, its chief executive has pledged.

Yesterday (17 November) it emerged that the company had struck a deal to purchase Northern Rock from the British government for a fee of £747 million ($1.17 billion) as it looks to bolster its market share in the financial sector.

This agreement was finalised as part of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat alliance's commitment to relieve the burden on taxpayers caused by banks the state has shares in following the recession.

And Jayne-Anne Ghadia, chief executive of Virgin Money, told the Independent the organisation is determined to make its mark, as the Virgin brand name remains "attractive to consumers".

"People are feeling there is not much difference between Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC or Lloyds and Barclays. We can make a difference."

She went on to describe the acquisition as an "important step" towards the firm growing a presence on the high street.

By Claire Archer