Why doesn’t Richard Branson buy Bank Simple?

Random thought of the day. What if Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin Bank (old Northern Rock) bought Portland based neo bank (Bank) Simple? I am intrigued to see how well Simple do now they are out of Beta. I think they currently have around 20,000 customers in the US and are starting to push for more. I selfishly wonder if they would get greater traction faster in the UK? Like the US bands that struggled for an audience in the vastness of the US yet came over here and did a few festivals and are now mega stars (how the hell The Killers managed that I will never know) In the US there are several thousand banks, here we only have about five. Simple could clean up over here in the retail market. Of course I suspect they will do very well in the US I just want a proper digitally minded bank in the UK to shake things up a bit.

Why Branson?

Well he has loads of cash and owns a bank that provides almost all retail banking services (no current accounts just yet but that would be perfect to launch with Simple) yet they seem to be focused on a branch based model. What if they really went for it digitally? Take the fight to those big banks in cyberspace and not on the high street. Come on Richard give it a go. Not sure Josh and Shamir will be up for it but $100 million and a few trips to your private island should sort it. Might be a nightmare integration process with those dusty old back end systems but no pain no gain yeah? Just a thought.

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