Virgin Money has announced it will continue to focus on improving its online banking services after closing 39 bank branches.
In a bid to save money, the bank will make more job cuts after dropping 150 positions in the first quarter.
The lender announced it will provide “greater cost-efficiency through digitisation” in its Q1 2024 financial results yesterday.
The firm has followed scores of high-street lenders in closing branches and slashing its headcount in recent years in a bid to contain costs and account for the shift to digital banking.
A total of 39 stores were shuttered in the first quarter, a reduction of 30 percent to 91 stores.
This is complemented by an office consolidation project, which will further reduce its property footprint by 35 percent.
The restructuring programme has so far claimed 150 jobs, with the bank saying it expects “further reductions in FTEs during the year”.
Each store was assessed on an individual basis with careful consideration of the impact on the local area as well as the needs of vulnerable customers and the accessibility of alternative services such as free-to-use ATMs and Post Offices.
David Duffy, Virgin Money’s chief executive officer, said: “We are also looking to make increasing use of other more cost-effective geographies for outsourced activities.
“We continue to drive digital customer engagement, including the withdrawal of passbook savings accounts for customers and have made further progress in modernising our technology infrastructure, with the ongoing adoption of Microsoft Azure, scaling the use of cloud services across the bank.”
Virgin Money said it was on track to meet its target of saving £200million a year through restructuring.
More than 5,828 bank and building society branches have closed since January 2015, according to Which?.
Customers can use the Post Office to carry out day‐to-day transactions, including cash deposits and withdrawals, cheque deposits and balance enquiries as well as coin exchange.
Mr Duffy added: “We’ve delivered growth in new accounts, deposits and target lending segments, at stable margins and with ongoing cost efficiencies.
“We are encouraged by both our customers’ resilience and improving sentiment in the mortgage market as interest rates have peaked. We carry good momentum into 2024 as we continue to successfully execute our strategy.”
Full list of Virgin Money closures in 2023:
– Fort William
– Golders Green, London
– Gosforth Centre
– Haymarket London
– Kensington, London
– Milton Keynes
– Newton Stewart
– St Albans