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Virgin Money To Close 31 Branches Across Scotland And North Of England

Virgin Money to close 31 branches across Scotland and north of England

Move to cut one in five outlets means bank has more than halved number of branches since 2018

Virgin Money has announced it will close 31 branches – almost all in Scotland and the north of England – in the latest stage of the UK banking sector’s retreat from the high street.

The bank said it expected to make 112 jobs redundant because of the closures after the coronavirus pandemic accelerated the shift to online and mobile app-based banking, a move that has rapidly reduced the profitability of physical bank branches.

Since the start of the pandemic HSBC, TSB and the Co-operative Bank have all closed branches, raising concerns about access to cash during lockdowns from the Financial Conduct Authority and consumer groups.

The latest closures represent almost a fifth of Virgin Money’s branches, meaning the bank will have only 131 left, down from 245 when it merged with Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank in 2018.

Twelve of 55 branches will close in Scotland, while nine of 35 will close in Yorkshire, with the rest scattered across the north-east, north-west and the Midlands. No branches will close south of Nuneaton in Warwickshire.

The concentration of branch closures in Scotland and northern England reflects Virgin Money’s roots in Clydesdale and Yorkshire as well as the former Northern Rock, whose branches Virgin took over in 2011. Northern Rock was nationalised in 2007 after a run on the bank as people rushed to withdraw their money at the start of the financial crisis.

Bank branch closures tend to be controversial because of the needs of generally older customers who are not able to manage their finances online.

However, Virgin Money argued that customers who previously relied on the branches will be able to use post offices for day‐to-day banking, including cash deposits and withdrawals, cheque deposits and balance inquiries, as well as coin exchange.

It said 28 of the 30 customer branches closing were located less than a third of a mile away from the nearest post office.

Fergus Murphy, Virgin Money’s group customer experience director, 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 bank said it intended to find alternative roles for some affected staff, either in nearby branches or other group functions.

The latest branches closures
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
Gosforth (a branch for employees only, located in an office)

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Business

35 illegal tax collectors facing prosecution in Benue

The Acting Chairman of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Emmanuel Agena, has revealed that 35 persons involved in illegal tax collection in the state are currently facing prosecution.

Agena announced that the agency has set an ambitious target to generate over N16 billion in revenue for the year 2024 following the successful surpassing of its N14 billion target in 2023.

Speaking to journalists on Monday, Agena expressed concern over the activities of illegal tax collectors in the state, noting that many of them were supported by influential personalities.

He stated that his administration at the BIRS had put an end to the era of patronage by politicians, aiming to significantly reduce illegal tax collection activities.

The BIRS boss also condemned a recent incident in which a truck carrying palliatives from Adamawa to Anambra State was hijacked by youths in Aliade, Gwer East.

He disclosed that three suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.

“A truck was intercepted and the driver beaten while the windscreen of the vehicle broken and over N200,000 was stolen.

“Three persons have been arrested and are in police custody. They will be moved to DSS for thorough investigation.

“We aim to flush out or reduce illegal tax collectors to the barest minimum. Already, 35 people who engaged in illegal tax collection were arrested and facing prosecution.

“This has been a big challenge. We have constituted a team headed by the director of Tax collection. Prominent people in the state are involved in encouraging these boys,” he stated.

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Business

Nigeria’s Inflation rate hits 33.20% in March- NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics NBS says Nigeria’s inflation rate jumped to 33.20% in March 2024 compared to February 2024 headline inflation rate which was 31.70%.

A report released by the NBS on Monday, April 15, reads

“Looking at the movement, the March 2024 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 1.50% points when compared to the February 2024 headline inflation rate.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.16% points higher compared to the rate recorded in March 2023, which was 22.04%. On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in March 2024 was 3.02%, which was 0.10% lower than the rate recorded in February 2024 (3.12%).

“This means that in the month of March 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in February 2024.”

 

The inflation report by the NBS followed the hike of Nigeria’s interest rate from 22.75% to 24.75% by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The March inflation rate was released at a time when measures by the apex bank to strenghten the naira against foreign exchange have seen some positive results.

The naira has appreciated against the dollar in recent weeks, gaining over 40%, from about N1,900/$ to about N1,100/$1 now.

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Business

NAFDAC seals popular Supermarket in Ibadan

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has sealed a popular groceries and cosmetics supermarket, Pinnacle in Dugbe area of Ibadan over sale of fake products.

The supermarket, usually a beehive of activities was now a shadow of itself as the gate leading to the premises was shut with an inscription directing customers to its branch at Challenge.

Management of the supermarket cited technical issues as reason for its closure.

An inside source who pleaded for anonymity however revealed that problem started on Tuesday, 2nd April , 2024 when NAFDAC surveillance team stormed the mall to enforce total shutdown of the premises, thereby forcing shoppers out of the supermarket.

“The NAFDAC team came inside the mall and told us to close, even though people were many inside who wanted to do shopping but they couldn’t because the technical issue started and they all went away in disappointment”, the source said.

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