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Virgin Money named UK's coolest bank


Virgin Money has been voted one of the UK’s coolest brands by some leading ‘experts in cool’ as part of an influential annual initiative.

Virgin Money appears for the second year running as the top financial services brand in the CoolBrands® list, now in its 13th year. The accolade was voted on by a combination of 2,000 consumers and a panel of 37 designers, style experts, media personalities and prominent figures from the worlds of TV, fashion and music. They included designer and entrepreneur Kelly Hoppen MBE, digital entrepreneur and founder of SBTV Jamal Edwards, and musicians such as Ella Eyre, Labrinth, and Laura Mvula.

Coordinated by The Centre for Brand Analysis, the prestigious CoolBrands® list includes only three brands from the world of financial services. The final list was drawn from thousands of independently identified brands and whittled down into a shortlist of around 1,100.

The panel of influencers and members of the British public voted on the shortlist, bearing in mind factors such as style, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness. The views of both audiences were combined to identify the most highly rated brands, or CoolBrands®.

Paul Lloyd, Virgin Money’s Marketing Director, said: “We pride ourselves on being a different type of bank. We’re on a quest to make banking better and to do things in a different way in the best interests of our customers. If that is translating as ‘cool’, then that’s fine by us.

"It’s great to know that our message is getting across and we’re delighted to be named among the country’s coolest brands. It helps to demonstrate that Virgin Money’s innovative approach to banking is being embraced, and that’s great news."

Stephen Cheliotis, Chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council, said: "For Virgin Money to be viewed so positively by both influencers and consumers is a great achievement and recognition of the bank’s desirability.

"Achieving CoolBrands status illustrates that Virgin Money is among an eclectic but small group of brands that are providing an authentic, innovative and unique proposition to consumers. This brand clearly resonates and Virgin Money’s strong performance in the survey is something everyone involved in the business can be proud of."

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Media Contacts:

Virgin Money Press Office:
0191 279 4676

CoolBrands representative:
Kathryn McAuley
07748 658 441


About Virgin Money

  • Virgin Money provides savings, mortgages, credit cards, pensions, investment and protection products
  • Virgin Money’s business ambition is to make “everyone better off” – this philosophy underpins our approach to business by offering good value to customers, treating employees well, making a positive contribution to society and delivering a profit to shareholders
  • Virgin Money is the official sponsor of the London Marathon, the biggest annual one-day fundraising event in the world. Virgin Money has helped London Marathon runners raise over £¼ billion through Virgin Money Giving, the not-for-profit online fundraising service, since 2010.

What is CoolBrands®?

CoolBrands is an annual initiative to identify and celebrate the UK's coolest brands. Since 2001, the survey has been canvassing the views of opinion formers and consumers to produce an annual barometer of the nation’s coolest brands. This year’s survey sought the opinion of the independent influencers and 2,000 British consumers.

Brands do not apply or pay to be considered. The results are published every September and a selection of the country’s coolest brands are featured in a luxurious, hardback format book, available from all good bookshops (RRP £60), which can be ordered by contacting 020 7079 3310 or visiting You can also stay up-to-date on CoolBrands news at the CoolBrands® Facebook page CoolBrands® Facebook page and

What is the CoolBrands selection process?

The UK’s CoolBrands are chosen by an Expert Council of influencers and members of the British public. Brands do not apply or pay to be considered. The entire selection process is independently administered by The Centre for Brand Analysis. The key stages of the selection process are as follows:

A comprehensive database of UK brands was compiled using a wide range of sources, from sector reports to blogs. From the thousands of brands initially identified, approximately 1,100 brands were shortlisted. This shortlist was scored by two separate groups of voters:

  • The independent and voluntary Expert Council, comprising 37 opinion-formers. Council members individually awarded each brand a rating from 1-10 and were not allowed to score brands with which they had a direct association or were in direct competition to.
  • A nationally-representative group of just under 2,000 British adults, accessed via an SSI online panel.

The opinions of the Expert Council (80%) and the British public (20%) were combined and the best performing brands awarded CoolBrands status.

Cool is subjective and personal. Accordingly, neither set of voters was given a definition but were asked to bear in mind the following factors, which research has shown are inherent in a CoolBrand: Style, Innovation, Originality, Authenticity, Desirability and Uniqueness.

** Who is on the CoolBrands Expert Council 2014/15?

  • Stephen Cheliotis, Chairman of the CoolBrands® Expert Council
  • Bip Ling, Blogger, DJ and Model
  • Carl Barât, Musician and Actor
  • Charli XCX, Singer
  • Charlotte Riley, Actress
  • David Harewood MBE, Actor
  • Eleanor Tomlinson, Actress
  • Ella Eyre, Singer
  • Emily Hartridge, International YouTuber & Presenter
  • Emily Johnston, Blogger
  • Gisèle Scanlon, Writer, Broadcaster, Artist and Co-Founder, the
  • Izzy Lawrence, Television Presenter and Blogger
  • Jamal Edwards, Digital Entrepreneur and Founder, SBTV
  • James-lee Duffy, Art Director & Illustrator, We Are Shadows
  • Jodie Kidd, Model
  • Jonathan Bailey, Actor
  • Julien Macdonald OBE, Fashion Designer
  • Justin Wilkes, DJ, Kiss FM
  • Kate Halfpenny, Fashion Designer & Stylist
  • Kelly Hoppen MBE, Designer and Entrepreneur
  • Labrinth, Singer-Songwriter
  • Laura Jackson, TV Presenter
  • Laura Mvula, Singer-Songwriter
  • Liz Matthews, Publicist
  • Mark Krendel, Managing Director, 8lbs
  • Melissa Odabash, Fashion Designer
  • Millie Kendall MBE, Beauty Brand Creator
  • Natasha McNamara, Digital Editor,
  • Phil Clifton, XFM DJ and Presenter
  • Reverend and The Makers, Indie-Pop Band
  • Ruby Hammer MBE, Make-Up Artist
  • Sadie Frost, Actress & Fashion Designer
  • Sam Hall (Goldierocks), International DJ and Broadcaster
  • Sophie Dahl, Model
  • Spark, Singer-Songwriter
  • Susan Riley, Deputy Editor, Stylist Magazine
  • Tom Findlay, DJ and Producer
  • Will Best, TV Presenter

Virgin Money Holdings (UK) Ltd - Registered in England and Wales (Company No. 03087587). Registered Office - Jubilee House, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 4PL.