Virgin Money is a UK-based financial services company owned by the Virgin Group and founded by Sir Richard Branson in March 1995. It was originally known as Virgin Direct, and pioneered index tracking by launching a value Personal Equity Plan into the market.
Virgin Money currently offers a number of products, most of which are run in conjunction with other financial service providers. As of 2008 it offers the Virgin Credit Card (issued by MBNA), a prepaid debit card (issued by Clydesdale Bank), loans (Provided by Co-operative Bank and Freedom Finance), mortgages (provided by The One Account), cancer cover (provided by Scottish Widows), insurance - split into cancer insurance, life insurance, car insurance, home insurance, pet insurance and travel insurance (underwritten by UK Insurance and Scottish Widows), savings accounts and ISA's (provided by The Royal Bank of Scotland) and pensions.
In 2006, Virgin Money South Africa launched with a credit card initially in a partnership with ABSA.
In 2007, Virgin Money launched in the USA after the Virgin Group made a majority stake investment in CircleLending . CircleLending was founded by US entrepreneur Asheesh Advani in May 2000, launched in 2001 and incorporated in July 2002. At this time, it primarily facilitates peer-to-peer loans similar to Prosper.com, Zopa and Lending Club. However, Virgin Money US focuses on borrowers and lenders who already have an existing relationship (such as friends or family) unlike its competitors in the P2P lending business.
Virgin Money pushes for its renaissance: its first products were daring and innovative, but Virgin Money struggled when others copied them. Virgin Group took control last week--can it turn its fortunes around?(News Analysis)
May 06, 2004; Virgin Money, the financial services group that claims it shook up the world of pensions, savings and credit cards over the past...