The Culture Director of Virgin Money, Caroline Marsh, gave a fascinating, entertaining talk and tour of Virgin Money’s UK headquarters to Service Network members in November as part of the Network Leaders’ events.
Caroline, who leads the cultural agenda for Virgin Money including its not for profit fundraising service Virgin Money Giving, discussed the ambitious plans the bank has for involving the community and engaging with customers, including the hugely popular customer lounges which attract over 50,000 customers a month.
Virgin Money is this year’s most highly rated retail bank for customer loyalty in the UK. Caroline showed us how they’ve transformed the Gosforth HQ into a colourful, fun workplace with games arcades and beauty salon integrated into the ‘street’ of meeting places, photos and artworks which bring life to a huge building.
The financial turnround of the bank from 2012 when it took over debt from Northern Rock to 2016 when it posted over £100m profit, shows that Virgin’s approach of treating staff well who will then treat customers well, works. There are now 1600 staff at Virgin Money, and the company is committed to its North East HQ base.
Ms Marsh said: “The company is committed to supporting the communities in which it operates, and the focus of the Virgin Money Foundation, which opened its doors in 2015, is on promoting the sustainable regeneration of economically and socially deprived communities across the UK, but starting in the North East.”
Service Network’s and RTC North’s Jamie Ollivere, said: “We’re delighted Virgin Money allowed us to hold the event at its Gosforth offices. Social enterprise and cultural factors are increasingly important to businesses of all sizes, and it was fascinating to hear how that works in action for a big business like Virgin Money.