It may not have been what was first intended when they sang “I am an antichrist, I am an anarchist”, but punk band the Sex Pistols are to lend their name to a new range of credit cards.
The controversial group’s name and record sleeve artwork will appear on the cards from Virgin Money available from today, 38 years after they were first signed by Virgin Records under Sir Richard Branson.
Michele Greene, director of cards at Virgin Money – which styles itself as a challenger to larger and more established lenders – said: “For a long time now, UK banks have all been the same.
“In launching these cards, we wanted to celebrate Virgin’s heritage and difference.
“The Sex Pistols challenged convention and the established ways of thinking, just as we are doing today in our quest to shake up UK banking.”
Cards will feature artwork from the band’s Never Mind The Bollocks album and the single Anarchy In The UK.
The Sex Pistols led the wave of punk rebellion in the late 1970s with loud, confrontational music and lyrics and provocative behaviour that sought to break the monotony of conventional popular culture.
Virgin Money’s new cards will feature three different designs, two using the yellow and pink Never Mind The Bollocks design and one featuring Anarchy In The UK’s imagery of a ripped red, white and blue Union Flag and safety pins.
The cards will use new technology removing embossing and allowing the names, card number and expiry date to be moved to the back.
A Virgin Money spokesman said: “The relationship between Sir Richard Branson and the Sex Pistols goes back 40 years. They were happy to be involved in this.”
Details of the value of the endorsement were not disclosed.
Sir Richard, who today controls a 35% stake in Virgin Money, signed the Sex Pistols to his Virgin label in 1977.
He said today: “The Sex Pistols are an iconic band and an important part of Virgin’s history. Virgin Money is a bank that can be proud of its past and I love the fact that the team have chosen to celebrate it in this way.
“Even after nearly 40 years, the Sex Pistols power to provoke is undimmed.”
Virgin Money, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in March, made its stock market debut in November. Annual profits for 2014, stripping out one-off items, rose 127% to £121.2 million.