Up to 400 jobs to go at Virgin Money

Up to 400 jobs are set to be scrapped at three head offices for high street lender Virgin Money, the bank has announced.

The cuts are part of a three-year plan by the bank to integrate its operations following the £1.7 billion takeover by CYBG – formerly Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank – in 2018.

The PA news agency understands that the roles are expected to be cut across three head offices in Glasgow, Gosforth and Leeds as part of plans to reduce overall headcount by 16% by next year.

The former Clydesdale bank HQ in Glasgow is expected to see 200 roles go, the former Yorkshire bank office in Leeds could see 50 workers hit and 150 roles in Virgin Money’s office in Gosforth are expected to go, it is understood.

Lucy Dimes, chief strategy and transformation officer at Virgin Money UK, said: “We are committed to bringing our operations together under the Virgin Money brand to offer customers a sustainable business which is fit for the future.

“Decisions on jobs are never taken lightly, particularly in the more challenging environment brought about by the pandemic, and our focus is on minimising the impact on colleagues from the changes as much as we can.

“We will support all affected colleagues, helping them find alternative roles within the business and avoiding compulsory redundancies wherever possible.”

The move comes three months after bosses said they would shut or merge 52 branches with the loss of 300 jobs. They want to rebrand 166 branches under the Virgin Money banner by March next year.

Further cuts to hit the 16% target of job reductions are expected ahead of the October 2021 deadline set by the company.

The bank has said previously that the move is to create a more efficient and sustainable business.

Tuesday’s job cuts are likely to come through natural turnover and the removal of vacancies wherever possible, it added.

The group announced plans in February to axe 500 full-time equivalent roles, including 215 in its branches.

In its update on the plans, the group said it had been able to reduce the number of head office roles being cut due to more staff working from home, while it is also keeping more business banking and contact centre employees to help small firms and other customers amid the crisis.

But it is sticking to overall aims to slash around 16% of its combined workforce – some 1,500 jobs – following CYBG’s £1.7 billion takeover of Virgin Money in 2018.

HSBC also recently lifted the freeze on its redundancy programme to cut around 35,000 jobs worldwide.

A number of banks had paused redundancy plans amid the crisis, with Lloyds Banking Group also among those to temporarily halt job cuts.