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Govt bank sell-off should be in public interest

Virgin Money chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia believes any bid for a share of the Government’s stake in the state-backed banks should be subjected to a public interest test to safeguard competition in the market.

Giving evidence to the Treasury select committee today as part of its inquiry into competition and choice in banking sector, Gadhia said any potential acquisition should be vetted.

Gadhia said: “If we are serious about competition and using acquisition opportunities to enhance competition, we should be applying a public interest test to make sure those acquisitions actually are good for competition.”

Gadhia also said she had plans to turn Virgin Money into one of the UK’s top six banks.

She said: “My ambition would be to be the fifth or sixth biggest bank in the UK actually and to attract customers giving great service and great products.”

She added Virgin plans to open around 70 branches in the UK over the next five years and she said the bank would not rule out acquisitions if appropriate.

Virgin bought small regional bank Church House Trust last January, providing it with the necessary platform to develop a retail banking business.


ABI wants public urged to shop for the best annuity

The Association of British Insurers has published a best practice guide which it says will see providers encourage customers to shop around for an annuity. The guide tells providers they should encourage customers to shop around for the most competitive annuity and customers should get all the information they need to shop around four to […]

Level four investment diploma tests experience

The National Skills Academy for Financial Services has developed a QCF level four diploma in investment planning tested through work-based assessment. The Experience Counts qualification has been developed by the NSAFS and Corporate Training Partnerships and will be awarded by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland. The qualification will be launched formally if it […]

Paragon shelves fixed loans

Buy-to-let lender Paragon has temporarily withdrawn both of its two-year fixed-rate products due to rising swap rates. It returned to new lending in September for the first time since February 2008 after securing a £200m revolving credit facility from Macquarie Bank. Swap rates, the borrowing rates between financial institutions, have increased significantly over the past […]

Skipton BS launches new fixed and tracker range

Skipton Building Society has launched a range of new two-year fixed rates and two and three-year trackers. The deals are available from tomorrow through Skipton branches, its contact centre and intermediaries. The range includes a two-year fixed to 60 per cent loan-to-value at 2.98 per cent, a two-year tracker at base rate plus 1.78 per […]

Choose life…

Sarah Scott  – Marketing Consultant, Royal London  This month sees the return of Renton, Sickboy, Begbie and Spud in the sequel to the film Trainspotting. Just over 20 years later, we return to see exactly how life treated the characters whose lifestyle was less than ideal back in 1996. Did they choose a job, choose […]


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