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Norwich firm Virgin Money appoints new chairman

PUBLISHED: 08:00 30 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:49 02 July 2010

The financial veteran who helped lead Virgin Money's bid to buy Northern Rock has been appointed chairman of the Norwich-based firm.

Former Lloyds chief executive and chairman Sir Brian Pitman, 77, joins the board of the business in the wake of its £50m deal to buy Church House Trust, a private bank, earlier this month.

The financial veteran who helped lead Virgin Money's bid to buy Northern Rock has been appointed chairman of the Norwich-based firm.

Former Lloyds chief executive and chairman Sir Brian Pitman, 77, joins the board of the business in the wake of its £50m deal to buy Church House Trust, a private bank, earlier this month.

Sir Brian had advised Virgin Money - which employs about 200 staff at its Whiting Road headquarters - about its failed attempt to buy the Northern Rock before it was nationalised in early 2008.

Norman McLuskie, previously at Royal Bank of Scotland, and ex-Close Brothers boss Colin Keogh will also join the Virgin Money board as non-executive directors.

The appointments come amid growing speculation that Virgin Money will look to buy another bank in the coming months and move from the internet to the high street.

There are City rumours that the purchase of Church House will be followed by bids for William & Glynns - part of Royal Bank of Scotland - and another bid to buy Northern Rock's mortgage and savings business.

Virgin Money, which began life as Virgin Direct, in 1995 saw its turnover rise from £77m to £98.5m at the end of 2008 with profits rising by £4m to £24.4m.

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