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Virgin Money to close 31 stores putting 112 jobs at risk

Written by: Emma Lunn
Virgin Money has announced plans to close 31 bank branches as it adapts to changing customer demand.

The bank, which was taken over by the Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG) in 2018, says the move is due to customers switching to online banking during the pandemic.

Virgin Money said the number of customers using bank branches for day-to-day transactions has been on a downward trajectory for a number of years, and this was further accelerated by the pandemic.

Virgin decided which stores to close by looking at a number of factors, including location, usage, proximity to alternative stores and lease arrangements. Each store was assessed on an individual basis, with consideration of the impact on the local area, as well as the needs of vulnerable customers and the accessibility of alternative services such as free-to-use ATMs and Post Offices.

Virgin Money customers can use Post Offices for day‐to-day banking, including cash deposits and withdrawals, cheque deposits and balance enquiries, as well as coin exchange.

One of the stores due to close is a ‘colleague-only’ store in the Gosforth office, which will not reopen following its closure at the start of the pandemic in early 2020.

The bank said that 28 of the 30 customer stores that are closing are located less than a third of a mile away from the nearest Post Office. Of the other two stores, one is 0.7 miles away from a Post Office and the other is 2.7 miles from the nearest alternative Virgin Money store.

The customer stores will close in early 2022. Virgin Money said it intends to find alternative roles for employees wherever possible, either within other branches or elsewhere in the banking group. But it said some workers would be at risk of redundancy, with the branch reduction resulting in about 112 full time roles across the group being cut. Virgin Money cut about 400 jobs a year ago.

Fergus Murphy, group customer experience director at Virgin Money, said: “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.”

Which Virgin Money stores are closing?

The following branches are closing:

  • 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

Virgin Money said written notification will be sent to customers and posters will be displayed in each affected store at least 12 weeks before closure, providing details on the alternative ways customers can continue to manage their accounts. Following the changes, Virgin Money will have a network of 131 stores across the UK.

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