Virgin Money Australia
|Type||Private (Limited liability)|
|Owner||Bank of Queensland|
In 2003, Virgin Money was launched in Australia with the launch of Virgin Money credit cards. Virgin Money Australia initially launched in partnership with Macquarie Bank Pty Ltd, followed by Westpac under a five-year agreement.
It added superannuation (2005) and home loans (2008) to their product suite. The card was Australia's first no annual fee credit card. The card was marketed as a cheaper option to most other credit cards with up to 55 interest-free days and an interest rate of 12.99% (April 2007). Customers were entitled to offers through the credit card's ‘Mates rates’ scheme, which included offers from other Virgin companies in Australia such as Virgin Blue, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Atlantic. A comprehensive restaurant discount scheme, operated by the Entertainment Book company, was also available. The Virgin Credit Card was withdrawn from sale in Australia as of 3 April 2008 after the five-year agreement with Westpac came to an end. Customers could continue to use their cards as normal, but no new Virgin credit cards could be issued. When a customer's card expired, they were transitioned to the ‘Ignite’ card by Westpac.
Buy-back by Virgin Group
At the time of Virgin Money's launch in Australia the group company that combined the UK and Australian operations was co-owned by Virgin Group and HHG. In 2004 100% ownership of that UK/Australia group company was acquired by Virgin Group for Aus. $219 million.
Changes to product ranges
In 2008, Virgin Money Australia withdrew its home loan product from the Australian market due to the financial crisis of 2007–2010 and the credit cards portfolio was transferred to its supplier, Westpac Banking Corporation, after the end of a 5-year agreement. In 2009, Virgin Money launched car insurance, partnering with A&G Insurance Services and also announced their strategic alliance with CitiBank, with plans to launch a suite of retail banking services in 2010.
Virgin Money credit cards
Virgin Money credit cards were relaunched in Australia on 27 July 2010 with two card types: the Velocity Rewards Credit Card, co-branded with Velocity Frequent Flyer, and the No Annual Fee Credit Card. All credit cards are also co-branded with Visa credit card.
Purchase by Bank of Queensland
In 2013 Virgin Money Australia was bought by Bank of Queensland for $40 million. Under the deal, Bank of Queensland have rights to the Virgin Money name in Australia for four decades while paying royalties to the Virgin Group, and Virgin has a seat on the board of Bank of Queensland.
- "Branson sells Virgin Money for $40m". News.com.au. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
- "Macquarie Bank takes stake in Virgin Money". Macquarie Bank. 8 November 2005. Archived from the original on 19 October 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- "Virgin takes 100% ownership of Virgin Money Group" (PDF). Virgin Money Australia. 27 April 2004. Retrieved 15 October 2013.
- "Credit Cards". Virgin Money Australia. Retrieved 1 May 2017.