Virgin Money is currently applying for a banking licence from the Financial Services Authority, which will allow it to offer current accounts and mortgages. Once the application is approved, Branson will be able to launch a rival to the all-new Tesco bank set to launch with 30 branches across the UK.
But insiders from the banking sector aren’t positive that Branson’s out to found a Virgin banking outfit from scratch. The billionaire has been circling failed bank Northern Rock, having missed out on the acquisition last year will the government bail-out. Buying up Northern Rock could accelerate the super-entrepreneur’s entrance to the marketplace.
It’s also rumoured that Branson may be out to partner with an existing banking provider and piggyback Virgin services onto an existing brand.
Real Business will keep you updated.