Virgin chairman reveals interest in Lloyds branches

In an interview with Sky News, Brian Pitman, the new chairman of Virgin Money says he could be interested in buying Lloyds and RBS branches.

When asked if he would be interested in buying the branches put up for sale by Lloyds and RBS, he told Sky News, “We could well be looking at those, because if they’ve 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,” he added. “Low prices, that would be an advantage, but of course it wouldn’t be as quick as buying branches of existing banks.”

He also revealed that Virgin would try to buy Northern Rock’s branch network when it goes up for sale, if the price was right.

He told Sky News: “If the price is right we shall be interested, yes, if the price is right.”

But he says he doesn’t believe that the nationalised bank will be sold off before the second half of 2010.