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Virgin wants public interest takeover test

Virgin Money chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia believes competition would be safeguarded if there were a public interest test applied to lenders wanting to acquire competitors.

Giving evidence to the Treasury select committee last week as part of its inquiry into competition and choice in the banking sector, Gadhia said acquisitions should be scrutinised. She 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 it is important the boards of Government-backed banks should consider the effects the sale of any part of their businesses would have on competition in the market.

She said her ambition is to make Virgin Money a top six bank in the UK and it plans to open 70 branches over the next five years.

She said: “As Government assets are sold, we think it is important that the boards of the companies selling them are not looking solely at the economic benefits of that transaction but are also appropriately mindful of, predominantly, the competition effect.”

London & Country head of communications David Hollingworth says: “I think everyone would be backing that kind of proposal. What we have seen in the market is so much consolidation that you have got some gigantic lenders now that will dominate, or potentially dominate, the market for years to come. So the more competition is brought to the market, the better it will be for consumers.”



FSA stands by its £225m cost estimate

The professionalism requirements will cost advisers up to £225m by the end of 2012 and up to £12m in ongoing annual costs from 2013. In its final rules on professionalism, published last week, the FSA stood by the figures in its cost-benefit analysis, first published in the consultation paper on professionalism in June. This is […]

Extension plea is rejected

The FSA has resisted the Financial Services Skills Council’s calls for an extended transition period for advisers to obtain a QCF level four qualification. The FSSC has argued that a transition period after the RDR deadline, where advisers would gain QCF level four while continuing to work under supervision, would prevent a shortage of qualified […]

Naming a reward programme

Six tips to get your reward programme name right

by Debra Corey, group reward director  Choosing a name isn’t easy. Whether it’s for your new puppy, a bundle of joy or your reward programme, a name determines a first impression – and often a lasting memory. When it comes to your reward programme, the name will determine how your employees feel about it even before […]


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