Virgin Money UK PLC confirms next stage of integration process

  • Integration of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank and Virgin Money is progressing well and the company is communicating with colleagues over the next steps of integration
  • 22 branches to close during 2020 as a result of lower usage and 30 branches to be consolidated into another Clydesdale Bank / Yorkshire Bank / Virgin Money location within half a mile, to eliminate duplication and create a national network fit for the future
  • Further consultation is underway over role reductions in central offices as part of the c.16% FTE reduction announced as part of the Virgin Money acquisition

Virgin Money UK PLC has announced the next stage of the Group’s integration programme as it brings together the operations of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank with Virgin Money and moves towards using the single Virgin Money brand across the business by 2021.

Today’s announcement includes plans to close 22 branches and consolidate a further 30 branches across the UK, as well as providing an update on the next stage in the restructuring of the business, including the removal or relocation of some roles as part of the planned integration announced during the acquisition of Virgin Money by CYBG (the former name of Virgin Money UK) in 2018.

Branch changes

The rebranding of the branch network to Virgin Money is underway, with three ‘B’ stores rebranded in December with the new Virgin Money look and feel. The rebrand activity will accelerate from April this year, with every branch updated to the new Virgin Money store identity and upgraded so it can support Virgin Money, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank customers by October 2020.

At the same time, changes will be made to the network to remove duplicate locations where Virgin Money stores are located close to Clydesdale Bank or Yorkshire Bank branches – alternative stores will be under 0.5 miles away. As a result of this, 30 branches will be consolidated into nearby locations, all rebranded as Virgin Money stores.

There will also be some additional closures to ensure Virgin Money has a national network fit for the future that reflects how customers wish to bank. Statistics show that the number of customers using bank branches for day-to-day transactions across the UK banking industry has been on a downward trend for a number of years and Virgin Money UK continues to evolve its banking offering to meet this changing consumer behaviour. The Group continually reviews and monitors its online, mobile and telephone services, as well as the effectiveness of the branch network. For example, developments in technology mean that around 280,000 cheques were paid into accounts in 2019 via the mobile app rather than in branches. To reflect this consumer behaviour, 22 branches will be closed between May and September 2020, resulting in Virgin Money having a national network of 166 stores.

Lucy Dimes, Group Business Transformation Officer at Virgin Money UK, said: “The decision to close branches is never taken lightly. The changes announced today are focused on consolidating branches where there is another Clydesdale Bank / Yorkshire Bank / Virgin Money location within half a mile as well as closing a number of branches to reflect changes to customer demand. As our customers change the way they want to bank with us, we are evolving the role of our stores - investing in all of the ways that customers are choosing to bank with us, including a reimagined Virgin Money presence on the high street. Following the unveiling of three new Virgin Money stores in December last year, the full rebrand of our national network of 166 stores begins in April and will be completed by September this year.”

Virgin Money is committed to maintaining a national, geographically dispersed branch footprint and a number of factors were taken into consideration when making decisions, including location, proximity to alternative stores, usage, footfall and customer behaviour, with each store assessed on an individual basis, carefully considering 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.

Virgin Money UK will work with impacted customers, communities and local stakeholders to sensitively support a smooth transition, particularly where vulnerable customers are concerned. A range of support services will be available to help customers during the transition.

The stores will begin to close in late May 2020 and it’s the Group’s intention to find alternative roles for colleagues either within other stores locally or elsewhere in the Group, wherever possible. However, because of these store closures, a number of colleagues will be at risk of redundancy and subject to our redeployment process. All colleagues affected by these changes will be fully supported through the process.

Posters will be placed in each affected store and written notification will be sent to customers at least 12 weeks before any store closes providing details to customers on the alternative ways of continuing to manage their accounts, including nearest stores, ATMs and Post Office counters - which customers can use for day-to-day banking.

Update on Virgin Money integration and simplification of the combined business

Virgin Money UK is today also providing an update on a number of other role reductions across the wider company as part of the planned integration process. These changes are designed to simplify structures, reduce duplication and clarify accountabilities across business areas. Changes will impact teams (based across the UK) in Business Banking, Risk, Finance, Chief Operating Office and Chief Information Office.

As a result of the changes above, a number of roles are at risk of redundancy and colleagues will be supported through the Group’s redeployment process, with the aim of securing other internal opportunities and minimising compulsory redundancies wherever possible. A reduction of around 500 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) roles across the Group is anticipated as a result of these changes, with a significant proportion of this reduction expected to come from head office locations. These role reductions are part of the forecast reduction of c.16% of FTE roles across the combined Group, which was previously announced during the acquisition of Virgin Money in 2018.

In September 2019, the Group announced that its corporate locations will be focussed around two major hubs in Glasgow and Gosforth, supported by a regional presence in Chester, Edinburgh, Leeds and London. In addition, Virgin Money Giving, Virgin Money’s not-for-profit fundraising platform, will continue to be based in Norwich. Detailed planning is in place to ensure that the Group is able to safely transfer operations to the major hubs over time, while continuing to provide excellent customer service.

Branches closing (22)

Clydesdale Bank (6) Yorkshire Bank (12) Virgin Money (4)
Crieff – West High Street Birkenhead – Princes Pavement Gateshead – Interchange Centre
Dingwall – Park House Bridlington – Queen Street Giffnock – Fenwick Road
Dumbarton – High Street Brighouse – Bradford Road Low Fell – Durham Road
Dyce – Victoria Street Cannock – Market Place South Shields - Prince Edward Rd
Edinburgh – Bankhead Avenue, Sighthill Gloucester – Northgate Street
Wishaw – Stewarton Street Leeds – Harehills Lane
Morley – Queen Street
Pontefract – Ropergate
Sheffield - Lound Side, Chapeltown
Warrington – Buttermarket Street
Wombwell – High Street
Worksop – Bridge Street

Branches consolidating (30)

Clydesdale Bank (1) Yorkshire Bank (5) Virgin Money (24)
Glasgow – Queen Street Hull – Prospect Centre Aberdeen – Union Street
Leicester – Horsefair Street Birmingham – Temple Street
Peterborough – Church Street Bolton – Bradshawgate
Sheffield – Fargate Carlisle – Devonshire Street
Sunderland – Blandford Street Coventry – Hertford Street
Darlington – High Row
Derby – Corn Market
Dundee – High Street
Edinburgh – Castle Street
Edinburgh lounge – St Andrew Sq
Hartlepool – York Road
Kendal – Stricklandgate
Leeds – Briggate
Manchester – Princess Street
Middlesbrough – Linthorpe Road
Newcastle – Market Street
Norwich – Castle Street
Nottingham – Beastmarket Hill
Oldham – Yorkshire Street
Preston - Fishergate
Stockport – Great Underbank
Stockton – Dovecot Street
Sunderland – The Bridges
York – New Street