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Virgin Money in rumoured bank expansion

Richard Branson is rumoured to be on the lookout for "a small UK bank" which he can bring into his Virgin Money operation and expand his banking services. The company has confirmed it is exploring "a number of strategic options" although the strongest rumours in the market currently relate to Virgin Money acquiring the "good bank" of Northern Rock.

Those who have followed the story will be well aware that Northern Rock is being split into a "good bank" and a "bad bank" with Virgin Money rumoured to have already had discussions with the UK government. The company has also recently applied for a banking licence in the UK and while confirmation has not been forthcoming as yet, it would appear to be only a matter of time.

Richard Branson has been looking to attack the UK banking arena for some time although it is becoming more and more evident that he will need to acquire an existing operation to fulfil his ambitions. Whether this is Northern Rock or another small UK bank remains to be seen but one thing is certain, Virgin Money will inject a much-needed dose of competition into the sector in the New Year. However, can Richard Branson replicate his successes of the past?

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