The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has today (25 July 2014) welcomed the news that Virgin Money will create a further 200 jobs this year, with 120 of these in the North East, as he visited the bank’s operational headquarters in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.
During his visit, which also included a tour of a Virgin Money store in Newcastle city centre, the Chancellor met staff from the bank and welcomed the progress they and the company have made since acquiring Northern Rock plc from the government in 2012.
In addition to the 2000 jobs that were secured with Virgin Money’s acquisition of Northern Rock plc, the bank created 250 new roles across the business last year – 150 of which were in the north-east – and today confirmed plans for a further 200 roles during the course of 2014.
The Chancellor also welcomed the first phase of the bank’s rollout of a new basic bank account product. Part of the government’s radical banking reforms have been about making it easier for new banks to grow and compete, delivering more choice for consumers, so it is encouraging to see banks like Virgin Money expanding their product range as well as creating jobs.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:
A key part of the government’s long term economic plan is to increase competition in Britain’s banking system so that consumers have more choice and get a better deal.
This includes wide-ranging action to support new and smaller banks, so it’s fantastic to see a market challenger like Virgin Money growing, launching new and different products, and creating more jobs here in the north-east.
The government also announced today that it has sold its holding of Tier 1 Notes issued by Virgin Money. The government will receive £154.5 million cash for the notes, which were issued to HM Treasury in January 2012 at a par value of £150 million as part of the sale of Northern Rock plc.
After a competitive process among a number of potential purchasers, Virgin Money was selected by UK Financial Investments (UKFI) as the winning bidder.
The sale has secured further value for the taxpayer and will be used to pay down the national debt. It is part of the government’s long term economic plan to build a stronger and safer banking sector.