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Richard Branson defends stance over bank charges

Richard Branson has defended his stance over potential bank charges that could be levied on new Virgin Money customers.

The famous entrepreneur's company took over Northern Rock at the start of the month and reports suggested that under the terms of the firm's rebranding, people opening new accounts would be forced to pay £60 a year for the privilege.

However, he told the Financial Times that the point of introducing the charges was to increase transparency and prevent customers from being hit by hidden fees that are often issued by banks.

He hinted that "free banking" would be available and that new clients would have a number of choices when opening an account.

Mr Branson spoke out during a visit to the main Northern Rock branch in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He insisted that rebranding the organisation was crucial because of the tarnished reputation of the old name.

Virgin Money's acquisition of the failed institution was first reported in November 2011 and the deal was said to be worth £747 million.

John Fieldman

Having worked in the city for 19 years, John's main focus is interest rates and corporate finance.ADNFCR-2776-ID-801260151-ADNFCR

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