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Virgin Money to shut one in five branches amid online shift

  • Banks retreat from excessive avenue as online banking grows
  • Bank to shut 31 of 162 tales in coming months
  • Virgin Money transfer will reduce prices

FRANKFURT, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Virgin Money UK (VMUK.L) will shut virtually one in five branches in the approaching months as extra clients shift to online banking, the British financial institution mentioned on Thursday, the newest lender to reduce its high-street presence after the pandemic.

The financial institution, which had promoted its branches as “community-focussed spaces” to “brighten … lives”, mentioned buyer’s willingness to financial institution online or utilizing their cell phones had prompted it to cut back.

Announcing the cuts, it mentioned there was an ever better willingness to use “digital self-service”.

It will shut 31 of its 162 branches in the approaching months. It may even reduce its workplace house, a transfer the financial institution mentioned would give workers better flexibility round their working location.

Several banks paused department closures in the early months of the pandemic however a number of have resumed cutbacks.

Earlier this yr, HSBC (HSBA.L) introduced plans to reduce 82 branches. In the second half of 2020 Britain’s largest home lender Lloyds (LLOY.L) resumed plans to reduce 56 branches and Sabadell’s (SABE.MC) TSB introduced it was axing 164 branches.

Such closures are controversial as a result of they’ll harm some clients, preferring branches to the web.

When Clydesdale Bank merged with Virgin Money in 2018 the group had a mixed complete of 245 branches however that may fall to 131 after these newest closures.

Earlier this yr, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority instructed banks to rethink strikes to shut branches in the course of the pandemic lockdown, fearing it may very well be to the detriment of consumers.

Virgin mentioned the closures would set off a restructuring cost of 25 million kilos ($34 million) in the fourth quarter. It may even e-book a 20 million pound cost from reducing again and modifying its workplace house.

The financial institution mentioned its restructuring fees for 2021 as an entire will now be 145 million kilos in complete.

($1 = 0.7311 kilos)

Reporting By John O’Donnell
Editing by Rachel Armstrong

Signage on display outside of a Virgin Money store in central London, Britain, July 27, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

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