I really like Richard Branson, his companies have really changed things and his approach to new ventures and branding ia amazing. One thing he loves to do is make a big splash where there is in fact little chance of real activity. He did this, making a big noise about buying Northern Rock during 2007, which whilst Virgin bought bits in the end, it never really was serious about taking on the whole thing.
Here we are in 2012 and it is the same with the RBS branch network. Virgin have little capital, a poor brand in banking and there is currently not much money to be made in banking. Also, Santander, who having bought Abbey, Bradford and Bingley and a few other banks has lots of experience in bank integration, could not make a deal with RBS work over 2 years!
Yet Virgin is touted as a bidder - it is a great way to get some headlines, but it will never happen. Great PR - Branson at his cheeky best.