Source: Virgin Money
Virgin Money has announced plans to close 31 stores as it adapts to changing customer demand.
Virgin Money 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. 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 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 Post Offices.
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.
One of the stores closing is a colleague-only store in the Gosforth office, which will not reopen following its closure at the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
28 of the 30 customer stores closing are located less than a third of a mile away from the nearest Post Office. Of the other two stores, one is 0.7 miles away from a Post Office and the other is 2.7 miles from the nearest alternative Virgin Money store.
The customer stores will close in early 2022. It is Virgin Money’s intention to find alternative roles for colleagues wherever possible, either within other stores locally or elsewhere in the Group. 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.
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 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 these changes, Virgin Money will have a network of 131 stores across the UK.