Richard Branson's Virgin Money staff get bonus windfall as profits ROCKET 127%

Challenger bank Virgin Money just unveiled a massive 127% rise in profits before tax in 2014.

And it plans to share the wealth with its employees.

In the upstart lender’s 2014 results statement, Virgin Money said the record performance will lead to all eligible staff receiving another bonus, on top of rewards already received, and in addition to the £1,000 of shares they got when the bank launched an IPO in November last year.

“We set out to be a credible and effective challenger to the large incumbent banks and I believe we have laid an excellent foundation on which to realise our ambition,” said Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO at Virgin Money in a regulatory statement.

“We aim always to live up to the consumerchampion ethos of the Virgin brand and our conservative approach to risk and strong financial performance go hand in hand with our commitment to serve the needs of customers and communities.

“Following the progress made in 2014 I am pleased to report that we expect to be admitted to the FTSE 250 on 20 March 2015.”

Virgin Money started as ‘Virgin Direct, a personal finance company, in 1995 but rebranded itself in 2000 to its current name. However, after buying the nationalised bank Northern Rock in 2012, it rapidly expanded and listed on the London Stock Exchange in November last year.

The founder, billionaire Sir Richard Branson, made £85 million from his 15% stake sale the float.

It has already 4 million customers and issues current accounts, mortgages and credit cards.

In 2014, it claimed the status of being ranked in the top six of all UK net mortgage lenders and are among the highest rated retail banks in the UK by Net Promoter Score.

It also saw a 12% growth in mortgage balances to £21.9 billion while deposit balances grew by 6% to £22.4 billion.

On 3 March, Branson revealed that Virgin Money has its sights on business lending too.

While speaking in Newcastle to promote the work of his entrepreneur project- Virgin StartUp – he said that the bank could broaden out to help fledgling businesses.

“I think it is an opportunity but at the moment we’re getting the bank established for the future. We’ve built the credit card business and we’ve taken on 500 more people in the region,” said Branson to The Journal.

In the years to come it will certainly be an area to look at — I’m sure of it. It’s important that entrepreneurs have the means to finance their ideas. So far we’re lucky to have the backing of the government in Virgin StartUp, but it is undoubtedly something to think about for the future.”

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