One hundred jobs to be lost as Virgin Money plans to close nine Yorkshire branches

Virgin Money is to close nine branches in Yorkshire as part of plans to close 31 high street branches across the UK, which will result in the loss of over 100 jobs.

The nine affected branches will close in January 2022, starting with Sheffield (Meadowhall), which will close on January 5, and ending with Leeds (White Rose), which will close on January 28.

The other seven branches set for closure include Beverley, Keighley, Leeds (Horsforth), Mexborough, Northallerton, Selby and Whitby.

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Virgin Money said its intention is to find alternative roles for colleagues wherever possible, either within other stores locally or elsewhere in the group.

Virgin Money said its intention is to find alternative roles for colleagues wherever possible

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.

The banking group said that it regularly reviews the ways customers use its stores, as well as its online, mobile and telephone channels, so that it can adapt its services to meet changing customer demand.

It 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.

The group, which has absorbed the Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank branches, said the decision to close a store is based on a number of factors, including location, usage, proximity to alternative stores and lease arrangements.

"Each store was assessed on an individual basis, with careful consideration of the impact on the local area, as well as the needs of vulnerable customers and the accessibility of alternative services such as free-to-use ATMs and the Post Office," the firm said.

"Customers can use Post Offices for day‐to-day banking, including cash deposits and withdrawals, cheque deposits and balance enquiries, as well as coin exchange."

Virgin Money said that eight of the nine stores closing in Yorkshire are located less than a mile away from the nearest Post Office. For the other store, the nearest alternative Virgin Money store is 2.7 miles away.

In addition to these closures in Yorkshire, a further 21 stores will be closing across the UK.

In addition, a colleague-only store in the Gosforth office will not reopen, following its closure at the start of the pandemic in early 2020.

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.”

Written notification will be sent to customers and posters will be displayed in each affected store at least 12 weeks before they close, providing details on the alternative ways customers can continue to manage their accounts, including nearest alternative stores, ATMs and Post Office counters.

Virgin Money said that it will work with customers to support a smooth transition, particularly where vulnerable customers are concerned. A range of support services will be available prior to store closures, including digital workshops to help customers become more comfortable with digital banking.

Following the closures, Virgin Money will have a network of 131 stores across the UK.