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Wilbur Ross sees Virgin Money on the UK high street

Richard Branson has today announced a new high-profile partner for his Virgin Money operation with US billionaire Wilbur Ross injecting £100 million for a 20% stake in the operation. The US investment guru has also promised to invest a further £500 million into a potential offer for Royal Bank of Scotland branches.

This is a major landmark in the history of Virgin Money and indeed puts Richard Branson firmly on the map. Many people believe that now is the most opportune moment to attack the UK banking industry which is under severe pressure from politicians, businesses and consumers. If Richard Branson can place himself between these various parties he has every chance of grabbing a significant portion of the UK banking industry.

It is many years since the UK banking arena has seen the emergence of a new force, with the vast majority of competition in the recent past coming from overseas giants. However, there is no doubt that the opportunity is there for somebody with the backing and the know-how to give UK consumers and UK businesses exactly what they want. Whether this will ultimately be Richard Branson and his Virgin Money operation remains to be seen.

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