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Richard Branson shows his hand in banking sell-off

Flamboyant businessman Richard Branson has today confirmed that he would "be interested in looking at" UK banking assets which may or may not come onto the market over the next four years. It would appear that his off-shoot Virgin Money is considering potential offers for Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds bank and Northern Rock assets which look almost certain to head for the open market in the short to medium term.

Northern Rock would appear to be Richard Branson's favoured option in the short term at least and when you consider he almost acquired the business before the UK government took it over he has already shown his hand in this particular case. Northern Rock, at least the "good bank", would make an ideal platform on which to build the Virgin Money brand name across the UK and on high streets up and down the country. But will the UK government play ball?

It seems almost certain that the UK government has pencilled in Virgin Money as a potential future owner of Northern Rock although nothing official has been released. There have been rumours of backdoor deals for some time but these have been refuted by the parties in question.

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