Virgin Money to eventually replace Clydesdale Bank brand

Debbie Crosbie

Glasgow-based Clydesdale Bank, which was established in the city 1838, could soon disappear from the Scottish banking scene as a result of owner CYBG’s £1.7 billion acquisition of Virgin Money.

According to one of Clydesdale’s most senior executives, the Clydesdale brand will gradually be replaced by Virgin Money.

Debbie Crosbie, group chief operating officer, said the process would take place “over time in a sympathetic fashion” for retail customers.

Ms Crosbie said: “For a reasonably significant period, customers will see no change. We won’t even start doing this for probably 12 to 18 months.

“Then what we are going to do is make sure that customers like the brand and it works sympathetically with the heritage we have got in Clydesdale and of course in Yorkshire Bank.

“We believe it is the right thing to do to introduce this to our retail customer base.”

Ms Crosbie added that tests will be carried out to gauge how the proposed rebranding will “land” with the bank’s SME customers.

“But over time the ambition, as long as we get the right feedback from our customers, is to rebrand Clydesdale, Yorkshire and B to the Virgin Money brand,” she said.

Meanwhile, RGL Management, the organisation formed to bring a class action claim against Clydesdale Bank on behalf of businesses that purchased controversial fixed rate Tailored Business Loans (TBLs) between 2002 and 2012, warned that Virgin Money shareholders should be made aware of the potential payout that could result from its legal claim.

Reports have previously stated that the cost of the case for Clydesdale could run into hundreds of millions of pounds, should the group’s campaign for compensation be successful.

CEO of RGL Management, James Hayward, said: “While RGL supports free competition in the banking sector, we are concerned that Virgin Money shareholders are not aware of the pending major litigation against CYBG, which could well significantly impact the value of the shares they are due to receive under this deal.

Responding to news of the pending case which emerged last year, a CYBG spokeswoman said at the time: “Whilst we have seen reports of a potential claim being considered in relation to Tailored Business Loans, we have not received any such claim to date from RGL Management Ltd and it is therefore not possible to comment on speculation around any potential case or the basis for any claim.

“In relation to Tailored Business Loans, this is a long-standing historical matter which has been subject to significant scrutiny and which the Bank has been working through with customers as part of a wide-ranging remediation programme, in an open and transparent manner.

“We have made significant progress in resolving the vast majority of cases. Where we have reached a final agreement with customers, the cost of this has been covered by existing provisions as extensively disclosed in our financial reports.”

Speaking following news of this week’s deal with Virgin Money, Mr Hayward of RGL Management added: “We expect to issue our claim in the coming months.”

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