Virgin Money gets £35 million to boost banking support to businesses

The Virgin Money Manchester store
Image from Virgin Money
Kami White
by Kami White
23 September 2020

Virgin Money UK has been awarded a £35m grant to boost their banking support to businesses – which will be matched pound-for-pound by Virgin Money.

The Capability and Innovation Fund grant came out of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Alternative Remedies Package and will increase their net lending to SME’s by £2.2bn by the end of 2025. £100m of this will be dedicated to companies pursuing environmental, social and governance aims. 

Virgin Money will use the grant to scale up regional franchises, facilitate more time between businesses and relationship managers and improve their digital technologies and services.

Virgin Money sign at Birmingham Virgin Money Lounge
Image from Virgin Money

Gavin Opperman, group business banking director at Virgin Money said: “This grant award is an endorsement of the group’s potential to shake up SME banking and a vote of confidence in our ability to invest in new capabilities.

“The grant will be used to accelerate our existing ambitious growth plans – we are investing in disruptive new capabilities and offering customers the best and most digitally-advanced business bank across the country alongside the globally iconic Virgin brand that’s synonymous with entrepreneurship and business growth.”

 Part of these growth plans includes the 2021 launch of Virgin Money Business which aims to be a true disruptor in the SME banking market and offer UK customers a meaningful alternative to the traditional banks.

The Group has also committed to a number of investments and growth targets, such as the 2021 launch of their ‘Working Capital Health’ proposition for SME’s. This initiative will transform the current business account offering into a financial wellness tracker for SME’s and combine dynamic views across a business’s working capital cycle.

According to Opperman, The Working Capital Health initiative will “support SMEs with the wave of challenges they are facing, going beyond lending to improve their working capital and encouraging more efficient use of cash to maintain sufficient liquidity to operate.” 

The Group also aims to attract 100,000 new SME customers by the end of 2025 and commits to maintain over 40% of senior roles at Virgin Money be filled by women. 

People sitting at the Virgin Money Manchester store
Image from Virgin Money

Virgin Money currently services 6.6 million customers across the UK through a digital-first approach that offers leading online and mobile services, supported by telephone and branch banking, including a national network of branches and business banking centres. Their ambition is to become a new force in banking that will disrupt the status quo. Discover what makes them different right here.