Whitley Bay branch of Virgin Money to close

The Virgin Money branch in Whitley Bay will be one of four in the North East to close later this year.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 9th May 2019, 1:15 pm
Brought to you by the News Guardian.
Brought to you by the News Guardian.

CYBG, the owner of Virgin Money, has said that the downward trend in the number of customers using branches for day-to-day transactions across the UK banking industry has been reflected in reduced footfall in both Virgin Money and CYBG branches.

In line with the Access to Banking Standard, posters will be placed in each affected branch – including the one in Whitley Road – and written notification will be sent to customers at least 12 weeks before any branch closes.

A CYBG spokesman said the branches will begin to close in August and it is the bank’s intention to find alternative roles for branch employees, either within other branches or elsewhere in the bank, wherever possible.

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He added: “However, because of these branch closures, a small number of colleagues will be at risk of redundancy and will be assisted through the bank’s redeployment process with the aim to minimise compulsory redundancies.

“Virgin Money will work with customers, local communities and relevant stakeholders to ensure that the transition to a new branch, and alternative ways of banking, are as smooth and as sensitive as possible, particularly where vulnerable customers are concerned.

“The bank has made a significant investment to ensure customers can take advantage of advances in technology to manage their accounts and the website is the most popular customer channel.”

Customers will be informed about the alternative ways of continuing to manage their accounts – including the nearest branches and Post Office counters, which current account customers can use for day-to-day banking.

The other branches that will close are located in Morpeth, Bishop Auckland and Chester-le-Street.

Fergus Murphy, group retail director at CYBG, said: “We are committed to maintaining a national network of branches.

“Announcing plans to close branches is never easy and it’s not a decision we take lightly. A number of factors are taken into consideration when reviewing our network, including branch usage, footfall and customer behaviour.

“Each branch is also assessed on an individual basis, carefully considering the impact on the local area, as well as alternative options.

“As customers change the way they want to bank with us, we need to find the right balance for our network.”

CYGB completed the acquisition of Virgin Money in October 2018.