Challenger bank Virgin Money has announced plans to step up its fight against the “Big Four” banks with an assault on the small business market and the launch of a new digital current account.
The company, created from the husk of the collapsed Northern Rock, had previously put plans for a business account on ice amid uncertainty following the Brexit referendum.
But it said on Thursday, November 16 it will launch a savings account for SMEs in January, followed by a business current account later next year. It plans to attract £5bn of deposits from business customers in the next five years.
Virgin Money said there was an opportunity for a “customer-focused disruptor” to take market share from its larger rivals by offering “service and value for customers”.
The bank is also working on a new digital platform it said could give it an edge on the Big Four, which it plans to launch in 2019.
A “universal account” will allow customers to create partitions to keep money for bills separate from their day-to-day expenses and use a “smart ledger” to get a better sense of what they are spending money on each month.
It faces competition in this area from new app-based start-ups like Atom Bank and Monzo, but chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia said Virgin Money’s existing scale and digital experience meant it was well-positioned to hold its own in the market.