Richard Branson favours fist bumps and high fives over handshakes, saying they're more hygienic - not to mention cooler

The relaxed billionaire says he prefers to keep things informal and clean wherever possible

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The Independent Online

Richard Branson says that he prefers fist bumping or high fiving to the traditional handshake.

The Virgin chief has said that a combination of extreme masculinity, fun, and germs have made him switch from a formal handshake to bumping fists.

"I still shake hands with plenty of people, but whenever possible I prefer a high five or a fist bump," Branson explained on his website. "For some reason, it has become common practice to believe a firm handshake constitutes strong will, or even manliness. As a result, I often end up getting my fingers crushed by overzealous handshakers!"


Backing up his anti-shaking policy with science, Branson quoted a study that says handshakes transfer five times as much bacteria as fist-bumps.

Branson said he switched to the less formal greeting after having to shake thousands of hands at a Virgin London Marathon. "After a few thousand runners, I decided to switch up to a high five or a fist bump," he said. "Since then, I’ve pretty much carried on that way. It’s less formal, more fun, and seems to put a smile on people’s faces."

The business mogul, who is estimated to be worth approximately £2.7 billion, has a Twitter feed full of inspiring sayings, thoughts and bons mots.