Virgin Money to axe 31 branches in shift to digital


irgin Money is to close 31 branches leading to the loss of 112 jobs, the latest sign of banks withdrawing from the high street.

In a statement headlined “update on acceleration of digital strategy”, the bank said customers are “increasingly adopting” online banking.

While the move seems logical, it will prompt further questions from MPs, worried that some consumers will be left without a branch to go to.

The bank, born of a merger between CYBG and Virgin Money, said the number of customers using bank branches for day-to-day transactions has been on a downward trajectory across the UK banking industry for a number of years, and this has been further accelerated by the pandemic.

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.”

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The sites earmarked for closure are:

– 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.

Barclays UK CEO Matt Hammerstein earlier told MPs: “Fifty years ago, almost 90% of all transactions took place inside a branch, but today that number is less than 10%.”

After today’s moves, Virgin Money will have 131 branches left. The statement said: “The customer stores will close in early 2022. It is Virgin Money’s intention to find alternative roles for colleagues wherever possible, either within other stores locally or elsewhere in the Group. However, some colleagues will be at risk of redundancy. It is expected that the changes will result in a reduction of around 112 full time equivalent roles across the Group.”