Via Yahoo Finance

Around 500 jobs are expected to be lost at the Virgin Money group as the business announced further integration plans.

Virgin Money said it would close 22 branches across the country in 2020, and would consolidate a further 30 branches within one of its nearby locations, after a merger between Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank and Virgin Money.

Around 500 full-time equivalent roles will be cut across the business, including 215 in its branches, the bank announced.

CYBG paid £1.7 billion for Virgin Money in 2018 as it tried to get a foothold to challenge the bigger players.

At the time it warned that around 16% of the combined workforce would be cut, losing 1,500 jobs across the group. The 500 roles are part of this restructuring.

At the time, the business said the bulk of the cuts would be in senior management positions as there was little overlap in customer-facing roles.

All three parts of the business are set to start using the Virgin Money brand from 2021, after the group rebranded.

Virgin Money said the branch closures would allow the bank to ensure it has a network that is “fit for the future” and reflects how customers want to use its services.

Lucy Dimes, group business transformation officer, said: “The decision to close branches is never taken lightly.

“The changes announced today are focused on consolidating branches where there is another Clydesdale Bank/Yorkshire Bank/Virgin Money location within half a mile, as well as closing a number of branches to reflect changes to customer demand.”

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The number of customers who want to use branches for day-to-day banking has been falling for several years across all banks, Virgin said.

Around 280,000 cheques were deposited by the bank’s mobile phone app rather than in branches last year.

The stores will start to close in late May.

They include six Clydesdale Bank branches, 12 Yorkshire Bank sites, and four Virgin Money banks.

Its announcement came just a day after HSBC said it would be closing 27 of its sites across the country.

Ms Dimes added: “Following the unveiling of three new Virgin Money stores in December last year, the full rebrand of our national network of 166 stores begins in April and will be completed by September this year.”

Virgin Money is currently looking for a new chairman as City veteran Jim Pettigrew said he would step down from the role in September 2021 after nine years on the board.

The company has around six million customers.