A consortium led by Virgin Group has sought to beef up its offer for Northern Rock as the government prepares to make a decision on the future of the stricken bank. Financial Times

Virgin Group has lined up Peter McNamara, former managing director of Alliance & Leicester, the mortgage lender, to be the executive responsible for risk management as part of its newly enhanced management team. It has also lined up a new finance director.

Virgin may also decide to tweak the terms of its offer to allow existing investors to put in equity in any deal. Until now, the Virgin deal has not found favour with existing shareholders – including hedge funds SRM and RAB Capital, which hold 18% – because it is highly dilutive of their holdings.

The team, which is being chaired by Sir Brian Pitman former chairman of Lloyds TSB, gave management presentations to the Financial Services Authority last week .