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CYBG and Virgin Money merger approved by financial watchdogs

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money, and Richard Branson at the Virgin Money Lounge in Norwich in 2012. The company is set to merge with CYBG after a £1.7bn deal was approved by financial watchdogs. Picture: Denise Bradley

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money, and Richard Branson at the Virgin Money Lounge in Norwich in 2012. The company is set to merge with CYBG after a £1.7bn deal was approved by financial watchdogs. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2012

Banking group CYBG has received regulatory approval for its £1.7bn takeover of Virgin Money.

The Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority have given their blessing to the all-share deal, the companies said on Thursday.

Announced in June, the proposed takeover of Virgin Money – which was founded through a partnership with Norwich Union and employs around 200 people in the city – sparked controversy after CYBG said up to 1,500 jobs could be cut from their joint workforce of 9,500.

But its Norwich-based staff, comprising a design hub in Whiting Road and its store and lounge in Castle Street, are expected to escape the worst effects of the restructure.

CYBG and Virgin Money said the takeover have been subject to the “receipt of the relevant approvals” from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority – and that these permissions had been received on October 3.

Investors in both firms voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal last month.

The union will see the owner of Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and B brand takeover the Richard Branson-backed lender, creating an entity with around six million customers.

CYBG’s David Duffy will stay on as chief executive, leaving Virgin Money boss Jayne-Anne Gadhia to serve in a consultancy role as his senior adviser.

The boards of both CYBG and Virgin Money believe the deal will create the UK’s “first true national banking competitor”, offering a sound alternative to both SME and personal banking customers.

The combined group will rebrand as Virgin Money.

Ms Gadhia has said that the tie up will “accelerate the delivery of our strategic objectives”.

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