Virgin Money will close one in five branches as customers shift to online

Virgin Money UK announced it will close almost one in five branches in the coming months as more customers shift to online banking.
Virgin Money UK
The British bank is the latest lender to cut back its high-street presence after the pandemic.

The bank, which had promoted its branches, said customer’s willingness to bank online or using their mobile phones had prompted it to scale back.

Virgin Money will close 31 of its 162 branches in the coming months. Virgin Money will also cut its office space, a move the bank said would give staff greater flexibility around their working location.

Earlier this year, HSBC announced plans to cut 82 branches. In the second half of 2020 Britain’s biggest domestic lender Lloyds resumed plans to cut 56 branches and Sabadell’s TSB announced it was axing 164 branches, Reuters reported.

When Clydesdale Bank merged with Virgin Money in 2018 the group had a combined total of 245 branches but that will fall to 131 after these latest closures.

Earlier this year, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority told banks to rethink moves to close branches during the pandemic lockdown, fearing it could be to the detriment of customers.

Virgin said the closures would trigger a restructuring charge of 25 million pounds ($34 million) in the fourth quarter. It will also book a 20 million pound charge from cutting back and modifying its office space. The bank said its restructuring charges for 2021 as a whole will now be 145 million pounds in total.