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Virgin Bank deserves buzz about its launch

Not many will have missed the launch of Virgin Money Bank – an impressive, co-ordinated media campaign that had the confidence not to revolve solely around the charismatic bearded one – Richard Branson.

While some continue to try to find a bad news angle to the story, the reality is that there is a real buzz about the brand.

I confess I am hoping this article will help my campaign to get a free ride on the Virgin Galactic spacecraft but, objectively, what Branson and his management team have done is make it okay to like the financial service sector again.

While we are in a honeymoon period, the bank is probably one of the few the public would want to see do well. From a broker perspective, the news is also good. The bank has been quick to engage with partners and made statements about its commitment to the sector and has promised not to engage in dual pricing.

When the government intervened in Northern Rock, the easy choice would have been to cut costs and staff. Instead, the business retained its team and remained active.

The launch is therefore a deserved reward for staff who weathered the difficult times and helped get Northern Rock into buyable shape. Consequently, the new brand should benefit from a loyal and experienced team that should serve it well.

More importantly, does anyone know where I can buy a second-hand space suit?


Europe: banking on a recovery

Neptune video: Europe — banking on a recovery

Arguing that the eurozone crisis is over, watch Rob Burnett, head of European equities at Neptune, discuss the sectors that he’s investing in to harness the recovery. 

In the video, Burnett addresses the following: 

• The primary drivers of the eurozone’s economic recovery
• The turnaround in individual countries’ current accounts
• Sectors best positioned to harness the recovery, without offering undue exposure to risk


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