Virgin Money chief downplays impact of Branson bailout | Business


Virgin Money UK CEO denied plans to change brands at Clydesdale and Yorkshire branches delayed by negative publicity on Sir Richard Branson’s call for government bailout of Virgin Atlantic .

The banking group said the Covid-19 epidemic had forced it to delay the project and at least 500 planned job cuts that were to follow the £ 1.7 billion takeover of Virgin Money by CYBG in 2018 .

The British government has stated that these five tests must be completed before considering relaxing the coronavirus locking restrictions:

  • The NHS has sufficient capacity to provide intensive care and specialist treatment throughout the UK
  • A sustained and steady decline in daily deaths from coronavirus
  • Reliable data to show that the infection rate is decreasing to manageable levels at all levels
  • Operational challenges, including tests and personal protective equipment (PPE), are underway with an offer capable of meeting future demand
  • Confident that any adjustment to current measures does not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelms the NHS

David Duffy, who could not confirm the resumption date of the program, denied having reconsidered the brand change due to the dispute over whether Virgin Atlantic should receive funding for the coronavirus in light of the personal wealth of Branson.

The CEO said on Wednesday: “We are indeed continuing to implement our new brand image. We think it’s a great consumer brand and we deliver to our customers in a truly customer-oriented way, which is in the DNA of that brand.

“So there is absolutely no change to be made, and all airlines are suffering from the same level of difficulty, so I’m not worried. “

Virgin Money has paid Branson, a billionaire, about £ 11 million to £ 12 million a year in license fees to use the Virgin name since the takeover. However, the bank’s chief financial officer, Ian Smith, said there were “various arrangements on both sides to change this if necessary.”

Virgin Money reported a 97% drop in statutory pre-tax profit in the first half, pushing it to a loss of £ 7 million from £ 274 million a year earlier. The crisis is due to provisions for loan losses worth more than £ 230 million, most of which were linked to Covid-19.

Branson has been in the spotlight for the past few weeks after requesting government funding to support Virgin Atlantic. He is the majority owner of the airline, which he founded in 1984.


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