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Will Virgin bank sell through brokers?

Brokers say it not clear if they will benefit from Virgin Money’s entry into the banking sector.

Last week, Virgin revealed it had reached an agreement to buy Yeovil-based Church House Trust for £12.3m which it will use as a platform for a retail banking launch. The deal brings Virgin 3,000 customers and a UK banking licence which allows it to offer mortgages and deposits.

Virgin has yet to confirm whether it will be offering mortgages through intermediaries. John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says:
“I think until we know what the proposition is, it is going to be quite hard to say whether they will use brokers.”

He says if Virgin goes on to buy Northern Rock, it would be bound to use brokers as so much of Rock’s business is generated through intermediaries but if Virgin went on to acquire Royal Bank of Scotland branches, it would not necessarily need brokers.

Alexander Hall chief operations officer Andy Pratt says Virgin’s entry will boost competition and its “plain, straight talking” approach could allow it to capitalise on the damaged reputation of UK banks.


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There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. It would be good to see a new face in the mortgage arena.. Remeber how Standard Life Bank cleared up when they came to market with one product and a phone number.

    Come on Richard Branson get involved with Mortgage Intermediaries… we know what we are talking about.

  2. I don’t believe anyone seriously thinks Virgin are going distribute mortgages through brokers.

    The man doesn’t even have shareholders. He is a market saboteur and bad news for any business he gets involved in.

  3. Totally agree with anonymous 2.32pm ……. who has Branson ever benefited other than himself ? The word “saboteur” is perfect.

    He is a ruthless self-publicising saboteur.

  4. Government fools have sucked up to Branson believing him to be some kind of Messiah, despite clear evidence over the years to the contrary.

    Branson has cheated on his taxes (reportedly), received special treatment to buy publicly owned assets at knock down prices, been allowed to tell lies and obfuscate about financial service organizations, and state the bleedin’ obvious to promote his own over-priced offerings (e.g. half of all fund managers don’t out-perform the index) – and yet he has a reputation for honesty and for being a business genius.

    The truth is that he is simply a ‘spin doctor’ who’s real abilities are marketing and pulling the wool over the eyes of ‘easy to deceive’ punters.

    Will he distribute his mortgages through brokers – of course not because his mortgage deals won’t be that recommendable ! Unless of course the idiot government gives him an anti-competitive helping hand (a la RBS and the Post Office).

  5. You make him sound like a criminal and yet he started out with the same inspiration as most mortgage brokers, to go into business for himself which he has done more than successfully!

    Any extra competition in the market is a good thing however I would agree that the virgin prospect has to bring on intermediaries as it stands at the moment especially if it acquires Northern Rock.

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