Born and raised in Glasgow, Nationwide chief executive Debbie Crosbie knows the Virgin Money operation well, having spent more than two decades working at the former Clydesdale Bank which continues to be a major employers in her home city. 

It is therefore a homecoming of sorts in that she is leading Nationwide in a £2.9 billion takeover bid for Virgin Money, the holding company that owns what is now known as CYBG and trades via the former Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank operations.

The daughter of an engineer and a care worker, Ms Crosbie studied business at the University of Strathclyde before moving to London to join the graduate trainee scheme at insurance giant Prudential. She joined Clydesdale Bank in 1997, eventually rising to the post of group chief operating officer.

READ MORE: Nationwide agrees terms for £2.9bn bid for Virgin Money

While acting chief executive at Clydesdale Bank, she led preparations for its demerger from National Australia Bank and subsequent flotation in 2017. After missing out the top job at CYBG, she was hired as chief executive at TSB where she spent three years at the helm.

In 2022 she became the first female chief executive in the Nationwide's 175-year history, taking over from Joe Garner, who had run the building society for the previous six years.

Today's announcement has been described variously as "dramatic" and "controversial", with concerns having been raised about the potential impact on competition in the market for retail mortgages. 

However, it is undeniably a bold move on the part of Ms Crosbie, who is set to oversee the largest deal ever made by a female banker in the UK. Should the acquisition go ahead - and it looks as if it will - it will be interesting to see her next moves.