Virgin Money Announces Branch Closures

Yet more high street branches to close for another popular bank

October 7, 2021
Virgin Money Announces Branch Closures
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Virgin Money has announced that it will be closing 31 of its branches, almost all of them in Scotland and the north of England.

The move is the latest in a long line of branch closures this year, as more banks struggle to maintain a high street presence within a short distance of customers and prefer to move to a more remote and digital offering.

Significant cut in Virgin branch availability

The 31 branches represent around a fifth of the current branches that the bank has open, with 131 remaining once these branches are shut. The bank originally had 245 branches when it merged with Clydesdale and Yorkshire bank back in 2018 but has gradually closed them since.

12 branches will close in Scotland, leaving 43 in the country, while nine will close in Yorkshire, leaving 24. The remaining 10 branches will close across the north-east, the north-west and the Midlands.

The fact that most branches are closing in these regions is because that’s where the highest concentration of Virgin Money branches are – the bank took over the former Northern Rock as well as Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, both of which were rooted in northern England as well as north of the border.

The bank has said that the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the shift to online and app-based banking which is why the branches need to close, as the branches themselves are no longer profitable when left open without as many customers.

The closure will mean that 112 jobs are made redundant, although the bank will try to find alternative roles for some of the staff impacted, either in other branches close by or in other group functions.

The full list of branches being closed are:

Airdrie, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Banchory, Beverley, Blackburn, Broughty Ferry, Chesterfield, Cumbernauld, East Kilbride (Princes Square), Galashiels, Gosforth (an employee-only branch, not customer-facing), Grantham, Keighley, Leeds (Horsforth), Leeds (White Rose), Lincoln, Macclesfield, Mexborough, Milngavie, Musselburgh, Nelson, Newcastle (Northumberland Street), Northallerton, Nuneaton, Oban, Portree, Selby, Sheffield (Meadowhall), Stenhousemuir, Whitby, Wick.

Growing concerns for affected customers

The latest branch closures are an issue for many customers who either cannot or do not feel comfortable switching to digital or app-based banking, including some elderly and vulnerable customers who prefer face-to-face banking. Many banks are making the argument that coronavirus has reduced branch footfall, but it doesn’t cater to those customers who are still using them.

Virgin Money is arguing that 28 of the 30 customer-facing branches being closed are within a third of a mile of a post office, where customers will be able to access day-to-day services including making cash deposits and withdrawals, depositing cheques and exchanging coins.

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 Financial Conduct Authority and other consumer groups are exploring options for how best to make sure that all customers have access to the banking services they need.

Ian Lewis
Ian Lewis
Ian is an experienced writer with 15 years’ experience working in journalism and marketing. He’s worked in-house in financial institutions as well as writing freelance pieces for a variety of banking and financial trading websites.

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Mentioned Banks

About Clydesdale Bank Clydesdale Bank is a Scottish commercial bank founded in Glasgow in 1838. Independent until 1920 when it was purchased by Midland Bank, it is the smallest of...
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About Virgin Money Virgin Money is a bank and financial services company based in the UK. Originally launched as Virgin Direct Personal Financial Services in 1995, its second incarnation...
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