- 15,946 firms moved their business current account to Virgin Money through the Banking Competition Remedies Incentivised Switching Scheme, representing almost one in four scheme switches, as well as nearly 50% of total business lending switching
- Virgin Money has been awarded an additional £8.9m to help encourage further switching activity
- New market-leading business current account proposition will launch later this year, with investment supported by Banking Competition Remedies funding
Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) has revealed where SMEs have moved their business banking to, following the June closure of the Incentivised Switching Scheme.
The aim of the scheme, launched in February 2019, was to incentivise business banking away from Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest in a bid to increase competition in the SME banking market.
The data shows that Virgin Money was one of the biggest gainers under the scheme, attracting 15,946 business current account switches. This represented almost one in four switches (23%) through the scheme, which ran for 28 months. In addition, the BCR data shows that Virgin Money attracted the majority of business lending switches, with 49.5% of lending that moved from RBS/NatWest going to Virgin Money.
In September 2020, Virgin Money was awarded £35m from the BCR’s Capability and Innovation Fund, which it is matching with equivalent investment. This is being used to transform Virgin Money’s business current account to create a market-leading proposition that will launch later this year.
Due to Virgin Money’s successful participation in the Incentivised Switching Scheme, it has been awarded an additional £8.9m from the scheme surplus, which will be used to encourage further account switching activity throughout the remainder of 2021.
Gavin Opperman, Group Business Banking Director at Virgin Money, said “We’re proud that almost one in four switchers decided that our business banking offer was best for their business. The scheme was set up and run very smoothly by BCR, and it has enabled us to expand our presence more broadly across the UK, reaching a new range of customers and supporting our ambitions for the future.
“Our recent rebrand to Virgin Money Business and continued improvements in our support to help businesses flourish mean we’re confident we can attract more customers and further improve competition in the sector. This new grant of BCR funds is testament to our achievements so far, and we look forward to building from here to create the UK’s leading business banking proposition.”
Banking Competition Remedies Limited (BCR) was established to implement the Alternative Remedies Package of measures agreed between the UK Government and the European Commission following the EC approving a number of state aid measures granted to The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS). The package consists of the Capability and Innovation Fund to provide grants to help improve banking capabilities for SMEs, and an Incentivised Switching Scheme to provide funding to incentivise RBS’s Williams and Glyn SME banking customers to switch their business current accounts.
Virgin Money’s business current account offers eligible customers starting up or switching accounts 25 months of free day-to-day banking, with no monthly account fee and no day-to-day transaction fees for deposits, withdrawals or direct debits. With a five-star rating from Moneyfacts, customers using the account can earn up to £500 cashback per year on debit card transactions and receive discounts when using their debit card at selected merchants. All Virgin Money business customers have access to the expertise of Virgin StartUp, including free digital events designed to guide founders on specialist topics, free digital resources to tackle knowledge gaps, and discounted Masterclasses from renowned business leaders.