Virgin Money has announced plans to close 31 stores with the loss of around 112 jobs.

Bosses said the move comes as more customers switched to online banking during the pandemic.

- Advertisement -

They said 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.

Virgin Money added the decision on each site was based on location, usage, proximity to alternative stores and lease arrangements.

Virgin Money
Virgin Money’s fancy branches failed to woo customers (Matt Alexander/PA)

The company said 28 of the 30 customer stores closing are located less than a third of a mile away from the nearest post office and the final two sites had a post office less than a mile away or another Virgin Money store nearby.

A further site in Gosforth was already a staff-only site and this will also close.

The customer stores will shut their doors for the final time in early 2022 and bosses said they hope to find alternative roles for affected staff. A total of 131 branches will remain.

But the company admitted not all workers will be able to stay, with around 112 full-time equivalent roles expected to go.

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.”

The sites earmarked for closure are:

Airdrie;
Grantham;
Northallerton;
Ashton-Under-Lyne;
Keighley;
Newcastle, Northumberland St;
Banchory;
Leeds, Horsforth;
Nuneaton;
Beverley;
Leeds, White Rose;
Oban;
Blackburn;
Lincoln;
Portree;
Broughty Ferry;
Macclesfield;
Selby;
Chesterfield;
Mexborough;
Sheffield, Meadowhall;
Cumbernauld;
Milngavie;
Stenhousemuir;
East Kilbride, Princes Square;
Musselburgh;
Whitby;
Galashiels;
Nelson;
Wick.