Yorkshire Bank reveals branch closures

The Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group is set to close six branches in the North and Midlands.

The group said it was making the move as it “evolves the shape of its network to meet changing consumer demand”.

Yorkshire Bank’s branches in Bramley, Redcar and Skipton will be closed, along with sites in Tamworth in Staffordshire, Widnes in Cheshire and Sutton-in-Ashfield in the East Midlands.

This follows the announcement of a £1.7bn merging of the banking group with Virgin Money last year. It was anticipated at the time that 1,500 jobs would be lost as result of the takeover.

The Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank brands will be phased out in favour of Virgin Money, and CYBG will remain in the driving seat.

Of today’s announcement, the company said that it would be looking at finding alternative roles for staff in the affected branches, but it expected a “small number” of redundancies.

CYBG said that despite this, its national branch network will remain a “vital part of its long-term strategy”. It said that it will be opening new branches under the Virgin Money brand, and will also undertake a further review of existing branches.

It justified the move by saying that branch visits by customers had dropped 26% over a five year period. It has invested £350m in its mobile app over the past three years.

Following today’s announced closures, Yorkshire Bank will have 84 branches across England. Closures will begin in August 2019.

Fergus Murphy, group retail director at CYBG, said: “We are committed to maintaining a national network of branches. Announcing plans to close branches is never easy and it’s not a decision we take lightly.

“A number of factors are taken into consideration when reviewing our network, including branch usage, footfall and customer behaviour. Each branch is also assessed on an individual basis, carefully considering the impact on the local area, as well as alternative options.”

“As customers change the way they want to bank with us, we need to find the right balance for our network. However, we are clear that branches will continue to play a vital role in our business. Our recent ‘Bank to the Future’ report highlighted the importance of the human touch, with 81% of consumers still wanting to speak to someone, or visit a branch, no matter how advanced technology gets, so our branches are critical.”

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