Virgin Money has revealed plans to shut almost a third of its branches across the country, including one in the shadow of its headquarters. The high street lender, which has its main offices in Newcastle, Glasgow and Leeds – said it will close 39 branches in response to changing customer demand, spurred by greater uptake of digital banking.
Business Live is reporting that around 255 workers face possible redundancy as a result of the move. One of the banks to close is close to its offices in Gosforth, Newcastle.
Announcing the “difficult decision”, Virgin Money said the closures would take place from October this year as sites were chosen across criteria including number of customers using them, ATM availability and current lease arrangements. Impacted branches have seen seen the number of customer transactions fall by an average of 43% since the pandemic hit in March 2020.
Sarah Wilkinson, chief operating officer at Virgin Money, said: “The decision to close a store is never taken lightly. But as our customers continue to change the way they want to bank with us, by conducting fewer transactions in-store and adopting the convenience of digital banking, we must respond to that evolving demand.
“For our colleagues, we will pursue all options to retain as many as possible within alternative roles, and have had great success previously with store colleagues moving to other customer operations roles, as their skills are highly transferable.”
Here is a full list of all the 39 Virgin Money branch closures which were announced last week:
– Fort William
– Golders Green, London
– Gosforth Centre
– Haymarket London
– Kensington, London
– Milton Keynes
– Newton Stewart
– St Albans
The closures will leave Virgin Money with 91 branches across the UK.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This announcement of the closure of 39 vital bank branches has sent shockwaves across the Virgin Money UK workforce. While the financial services sector is acquiring eye-watering profits, they must start taking their responsibilities to customers and communities more seriously.
“Access to a bank and cash is a fundamental need for all our local high streets. Simply walking away from the consumers who bring the banks astronomical profits is a complete disgrace.”