Virgin Money to shut 20% of its branch network

Virgin Money is to close 20% of its store network as it responds to the long-term shift in customers choosing to bank online.

112 jobs will be lost, although the group says it intends to “find alternative roles wherever possible” for affected staff.

It will close 30 stores early next year at a cost of £25m as it accelerates its digital strategy, leaving it with 131 branches nationwide.

Virgin Money now expects restructuring charges in this financial year to be £145m as it lays the platform for a strategic transformation which has the aim of creating “the UK’s best digital bank”.

17 of the sites that will shut are in the North of England, including two in Leeds, Beverley, Keighley, Meadowhall, Mexborough, Northallerton, Selby and Whitby. Virgin Money and Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank merged, and all of its branches rebranded under the Virgin Money name.

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.”

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.

Virgin Money said that 28 of the 30 customer stores closing are located less than a third of a mile away from the nearest Post Office.