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Virgin sets sights on Lloyds and RBS branches

Virgin Money chairman Brian Pitman has revealed the bank is interested in buying Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland branches if their locations are good.

Pitman, who is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Lloyds TSB, was appointed to the Virgin Money board last week.

When asked whether Virgin would look to buy the branches Pitman told Sky News yesterday: “We could well be looking at those, because if they have got branches that are in locations that we were interested in, then it would speed up the process of actually establishing branches.”

“There’s lots of premises available at the moment, there’s no shortage of premises to buy and build up branches from that, and at very good prices.Low prices, that would be an advantage, but of course it wouldn’t be as quick as buying branches of existing banks.”

On Northern Rock he said: “Everything would depend on the price. If the price is right then we shall be interested.”

However Pitman said he did not think the Government would be likely to sell Northern Rock until the second half of the year because it would want to show that the good bank is on a stable footing.

Pitman also slammed internet-only banks, claiming that customer service centres are key for consumers.

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  1. The question for Virgin and the public is, will he bring good practice to the high street or will the bad practices of LTSB continue with Virgin? LTSB is ailed as the bank with the most complaints against by the FSA.

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