Virgin Money plans stock floatation

<p>Virgin Money has unveiled plans to float shares on the London Stock Exchange.</p>

Virgin Money has unveiled plans to float shares on the London Stock Exchange.

The UK challenger bank, part-owned by Sir Richard Branson, is aiming to raise around £150 million and build on its plans for growth and expansion in the coming years. As part of the transaction Virgin Money will pay the Treasury the £50 million it owed after purchasing Northern Rock in 2011 while each employee would receive £1,000 worth of shares, the bank confirmed.

Sir Richard has already expressed his excitement at this latest move and described it as a "huge day" for the bank. Virgin Money currently currently boasts 75 branches serving 2.8 million customers across the UK. It employs 2,800 people with 1,800 working at one of its UK base in Gosforth, Tyne and Wear.

The entrepreneur believes that a stock floatation will promote growth across the bank in the coming years: "We started this company 20 years ago with Jayne-Anne Gadhia [Virgin Money chief executive] when we set out to challenge the financial services industry.

"Our wonderful team have come a long way since then and have built a strong and valuable business offering great value products and services and a real challenge to the established players."

Sir Richard maintained that the bank's decision to float on the London Stock Exchange was not the "end of our journey" adding that he excited to taking the bank forward in the years to come.

It has been a strong performance over the past 12 months from Virgin Money. In March the bank announced a pre-tax profit rise from £151 million, recorded in 2013, to £179 million. This was aided by a 17 per cent growth in its savings and lending division. The bank's mortgage lending was up by £19 million while its saving balances had reached £21 million.

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