Virgin Money has announced plans to close 31 branches attributing the move to changing customer behavior.
In a blog post, Virgin Money indicated that the move follows a steady drop in the number of customers using bank branches across the United Kingdom.
The lender noted that the pandemic accelerated the drop, with customers preferring to conduct day-to-day transactions through digital platforms.
Virgin Money relied on assessment around location, usage, proximity to alternative stores, and lease arrangements in selecting the branches to close.
“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,” said Fergus Murphy, Group Customer Experience Director at Virgin Money.
The branches that will close in early 2022 will see 112 employees rendered jobless. With the closure, the bank will now operate 131 branches across the UK.
The bank said it intended to find alternative roles for affected staff, either in nearby branches or other group functions.
Virgin Money is also planning to roll out a series of initiatives like digital workshops to help customers embrace digital banking to enhance a smooth transition.
Additionally, Virgin Money stated that customers who previously relied on the branches would use post offices for day‐to-day banking, including cash deposits and withdrawals, cheque deposits, and balance inquiries.
Rising bank physical brank closures
Virgin Money now joins other leading UK lenders like Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC that announced branch closures in the past year.
Following the pandemic, traditional banks with physical stores have been forced to shift most services online. The landers are facing pressure and competition from established UK challenger banks like Revolut.
The closures come even though UK’s Financial Conduct Authority urged banks to rethink moves to close branches over concerns it could impact customers.