Virgin signs up Redspire for business account project
Virgin will be flying the flag for SMEs (pic: Terry Murden)
Virgin Money, the Glasgow-based bank, has announced a partnership with local fintech company Redspire to help it build a significant presence in the business current account market.
The bank is transforming its existing business current account offering into a financial “wellness tracker” for SMEs and Redspire will work alongside Microsoft to develop digital solutions.
The plan is to launch Virgin Money Business next year with a target of 100,000 SME customers by the end of 2025 (20,000 by the end of 2022).
Backed by additional large-scale investment, Virgin believes the group can become a disruptor in the SME banking market.
The partnership with Redspire is part of Virgin’s commitment to the recent £35m award from the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) Capability and Innovation Fund.
The fund was set up following the rescue of Royal Bank of Scotland to encourage competition in the SME banking industry as part of an agreement between the UK Government and the European Commission after RBS failed to split off its Williams & Glyn business as a new bank.
The £425 million fund is distributed to other SME lenders and Virgin Money will use it to scale up its regional franchise, provide more time with relationship managers and access to new digital technologies and services. It will provide matched funding.
Gavin Opperman, group business director at Virgin Money, said: “Following our successful application to the BCR Capability and Innovation Fund, we have been moving forward with Virgin Money Business, which will be ready for launch early in 2021.
“Collaboration is key to our success and I am pleased to welcome Respire onto our extended team. We have a strong relationship with Redspire and place great value on their agility and ability to respond to our needs.”
Billy Lyle, CEO at Redspire and engagement lead with Virgin Money, said: “It’s been a year like no other for all businesses in the UK.
“Years’ worth of digital transformation has taken place in months rather than in years in 2020.”