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Virgin Money to resume job cuts and branch closures from August

Virgin Money will go ahead with its plans to shut 22 branches, merge another 30 and axe 300 jobs – some 200 fewer than it had previously announced.

The high street lender had unveiled the shake-up plan in February, which are a result of its £1.7billion merger with Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank in 2018. 

But it then decided to put plans on hold due to the coronavirus crisis. It has now decided to resume the plans, with store closures to happen in August.

Job cuts will be 300 instead of 500 as some head office roles have been saved by having staff working from home. More business banking contact centre employees are also being retained to help small firms amid the crisis.

But the bank is still sticking to overall aims to slash around 16 per cent of its combined workforce – some 1,500 jobs.

Virgin Money said it will offer staff affected by branch closures the option to remain with the group until October 20 to help offer support to vulnerable customers.

The cuts come as banks are under fire for abandoning rural communities by shutting hundreds of branches across the UK. 

‘While the decision to recommence these redundancies and branch closures has not been taken lightly, we are committed to integrating Virgin Money under one brand as a sustainable, innovative business that invests in improving its customer offer for the future,’ said Lucy Dimes, group business transformation officer at Virgin Money UK.   

Beginning in August, the lender will also rebrand all Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank branches under the Virgin Money banner. It is hoping to be done with that by the end of January next year.      

HSBC also recently lifted the freeze on its redundancy programme to cut around 35,000 jobs worldwide.

A number of banks had paused redundancy plans amid the crisis, with Lloyds Banking Group also among those to temporarily halt job cuts.

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