Having failed to agree a deal earlier in the year, Virgin Money has rekindled its interest in buying part of MBNA’s UK credit card books.
The Bank of America pulled out of a deal to sell MBNA Europe’s credit card assets earlier this year after failing to reach a deal with buyers.
But the bank has been forced to sell off its European-based assets, worth billions of pounds in receivables, following an infringement of US regulation.
And Virgin has identified a smaller segment – credit card accounts under the Virgin name – which represents around a third of the total UK package.
Subject to approval from regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, the deal could be worth as much as £1 billion and would confirm the strength of Sir Richard Branson’s challenge for market share against mainstream high-street banks.
In July, Virgin Money, under the stewardship of chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia, bought £465 million in mortgage assets from UK Asset Resolution, the holding company for the assets of the collapsed Northern Rock.
There was further good news for the corporation this week after Virgin Trains was awarded a 23 month extension to operate the West Coast mainline.
The franchise had initially been awarded to FirstGroup, before the pursuit of a legal challenge by Virgin led the government to discover errors in the constituents of the decision.
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