Virgin Money to close 31 branches, putting 100 jobs at risk

·2-min read
BELFAST, ANTRIM, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/12/06: A woman wearing a face mask as a precaution against the spread of covid-19 passing by the Virgin Money Bank. (Photo by Michael McNerney/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Virgin Money confirmed that it would aim to find alternative roles for some of the workers affected, either by placing them in nearby branches or other group functions. Photo: Michael McNerney/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Virgin Money is set to close 31 of its branches across Scotland and the north of England, making 112 staff members redundant.

It comes as the bank is looking to cut one in five outlets in the UK as it retreats from the high street.

The company has already more than halved the number of branches since 2018 as part of a restructuring following its acquisition of Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks.

Twelve of its 55 branches in Scotland will be axed, nine out of 35 will close in Yorkshire, and the rest will affect branches in the north-east, north-west and the Midlands.

Virgin Money confirmed that it would aim to find alternative roles for some of the workers affected, either by placing them in nearby branches or other group functions.

The onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic helped to dramatically shift customer habits to online and mobile app-based banking, which has reduced the profitability of physical bank branches.

The move follows similar measures taken by other lenders, including HSBC (HSBA.L), TSB and the Co-operative Bank.

Read more: Coronavirus: Co-op Bank to axe 350 jobs and close branches

Virgin Money on Thursday said that customers who previously relied on the closing branches will be able to use post offices for day‐to-day banking, including cash deposits and withdrawals, cheque deposits and balance inquiries, as well as coin exchange.

It said 28 of the 30 customer branches closing were located less than a third of a mile away from the nearest post office.

“As our customers change the way they want to bank with us and conduct fewer transactions in-store, we must continue to evolve the role of our stores into places where we showcase our products and bring our digital services to life,” Fergus Murphy, Virgin Money’s group customer experience director, said.

However, Caren Evans, national officer at union Unite said: “The announcement of the closure of a further 31 branches will be devastating for the Virgin Money workforce.

“Staff worked tirelessly through a global pandemic, supporting each other and loyal customers. Many put themselves at risk every day in order to keep the branches open. The announcement today comes as a betrayal to all employees who have kept this bank going.”

The latest branches closures are as follows:

  • Airdrie

  • Grantham

  • Northallerton

  • Ashton-Under-Lyne

  • Keighley

  • Newcastle, Northumberland St

  • Banchory

  • Leeds, Horsforth

  • Nuneaton

  • Beverley

  • Leeds, White Rose

  • Oban

  • Blackburn

  • Lincoln

  • Portree

  • Broughty Ferry

  • Macclesfield

  • Selby

  • Chesterfield

  • Mexborough

  • Sheffield, Meadowhall

  • Cumbernauld

  • Milngavie

  • Stenhousemuir

  • East Kilbride, Princes Square

  • Musselburgh

  • Whitby

  • Galashiels

  • Nelson

  • Wick

  • Gosforth (a branch for employees only, located in an office)

Watch: Virgin Money to axe 400 jobs at head office locations

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