Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

New banks to shake up the market

Virgin to introduce fees, Metro opens new branches

Virgin Money Richard Branson

Virgin Money has announced details of its current account while Metro becomes the first high-street new bank in over a century.

When Virgin Money enters the banking market, it has announced that it will charge a low monthly account fee on its current account. The details of the account, which will launch by early 2011, are still being fleshed out and Virgin Money is yet to reveal the amount of the fee.  

“No such thing as free banking”

A spokesman for Virgin Money said that free banking didn’t really exist. Scott Mowbray told us: ‘People understand that there is no such thing as free banking. At the moment, the majority of fees are paid by those that can least afford them in the form of overdraft charges.

Packaged accounts

Bank accounts used to charge monthly fees but over time these have largely disappeared from the market, with the exception of packaged accounts which charge a fee for a selection of ‘extras’. Unless you use the more useful benefits such as free travel insurance and breakdown cover then these packaged accounts are expensive.  

The new Virgin account may not offer the additional benefits but Scott Mowbray promises: ‘In exchange for a low monthly fee, we will have fair and transparent overdraft fees and pay more credit interest.’  

New bank 

In related news, Metro Bank looks certain to be the first new high street bank in over a century, having obtained a banking licence from the City regulator. It is aiming to open 200 London branches in the spring.

If you’re looking to switch bank accounts then take a look at our and our and for current accounts


pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.

Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.

Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what’s going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.

Back to top