Roughly once a year Virgin Group PLC's founder Richard Branson muses before Canadian media about setting up a bank in Canada. He did it again on Wednesday.
During a visit to Toronto, Mr. Branson told reporters that the expansion plans for the U.K.'s Virgin Money begin with Australia, followed by Canada.
"The financial services business in Canada is in the hands of very few companies and we think a little more competition would be good," he told reporters from Dow Jones and Bloomberg.
He declined to give a timetable for his plans, telling the Dow Jones reporter only that they are "quite a long way advanced."
Mr. Branson was speaking from Pearson International Airport, having touched down from Los Angeles for Virgin America's inaugural flight to Toronto.
In May, 2009, Andrew Black, then the CEO of Virgin Mobile Canada and Mr. Branson's emissary in Canada, told reporters that Mr. Branson was on the verge of making a final decision whether to start a Web-based bank in Canada.
That came more than a year after Virgin had previously publicly floated the idea.
That's not to suggest that he's not working on it. Wal-Mart just recently received the nod from Canada's financial services regulator to start a bank in Canada, having been working on the concept since at least 2006.