Virgin Money Holdings UK has announced plans to enter the UK SME banking market in January 2018.
The challenger bank will introduce a phased SME development programme by launching a savings proposition for small businesses.
The launch will enable the bank to develop relationships with business customers ahead of plans to start up a business current account (BCA) by the end of 2018.
Virgin Money is targeting £5bn of SME deposits within five years of launch.
The announcement was made as part of the group's capital market updates, where it revealed plans to launch a new digital banking platform, which is expected to be introduced in 2019.
Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money (pictured above, right), said: “Traditional banks are investing in digital transformation, but are burdened by legacy systems, while digital start-ups currently lack the customer base to disrupt the sector on any significant scale.
“Our end-to-end platform will enable us to capture market share by taking full advantage of our unique position and competitive advantages, which are defined by a well-known and trusted brand, no legacy issues and an established scalable customer base.
"We are also delighted to announce the start of our journey into SME banking and we will be launching a new SME savings account in January 2018.
“Broadening our customer reach through our new digital and SME businesses will transform our market presence.
“We believe they will double our access to UK retail banking revenues.”
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