Virgin Money UK

Virgin Money to close three branches

Three branches of Virgin Money in the North East have been named among 22 to be closed around the country as it also cuts 500 jobs.

The bank will shut its outlets at West Street in Gateshead (pictured), Durham Road in nearby Low Fell, and Prince Edward Road in South Shields.

Sixty posts will go at the firm's headquarters in Gosforth in Newcastle.

Virgin Money in Gateshead
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Virgin 'evolving' role of branches by shutting 52

Lucy Dimes, group business transformation officer at Virgin Money UK, said:

The decision to close branches is never taken lightly. The changes announced today are focused on consolidating branches as well as closing a number of branches to reflect changes to customer demand. As our customers change the way they want to bank with us, we are evolving the role of our stores.

Breaking500 jobs to go at Virgin Money

Virgin Money sign
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Virgin Money is cutting around 500 jobs this year as part of a restructuring.

There will be roughly 215 jobs lost through the closure of 52 branches overall, the rest from central offices in Leeds, the North East and Scotland.

Metro move bad for small businesses

Metro bank branch
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Crisis-hit Metro Bank has been forced to hand back £50m of the £120m it was awarded from a Royal Bank of Scotland-funded scheme designed to boost competition in the banking sector.

The bank is to "step away" from niche small business offerings but new boss Dan Frumkin - appointed last week - said the group remains "absolutely committed" to the small business market.

A spokesman from rival banking challenger Virgin Money said: "This is disappointing news for competition in the business banking market, an issue the alternative remedies and BCR was supposed to address.

"We hope that the BCR and RBS work together quickly to find new ways of meeting the original objectives of the scheme, to give small businesses better choice and quality of banking.”

Make or break for Virgin Money

Virgin Money logo
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“The next year is likely to be make-or-break for Virgin Money," reckons Andrew Welch of branding and design agency Landor.

The former CYBG has rebranded and revealed mixed trading figures this morning (see earlier post).

The new brand could give it the push it needs to become an affective challenger for traditional high street banks, Welch said.

"The Virgin Money brand is perceived as entirely different to other banks and its takeover by CYBG has given it the scale it previously lacked.

"In fact, the most common attributes UK consumers associate with banks are ‘unapproachable’ and ‘arrogant’. In contrast, Virgin Money is described as ‘progressive’, ‘up to date’ and ‘dynamic’."

Virgin Money warns of Brexit toll on banking sector

Virgin Money branch
Reuters

Virgin Money boss David Duffy has warned that ongoing Brexit uncertainties are taking their toll on the banking sector.

The banking group - formerly known as CYBG - revealed a 0.8% fall in mortgages to £59.6bn in the last quarter of 2019.

Customer deposits grew 1.6% to £64.8bn while business lending climbed 2.5% to £8.1bn in the first quarter.

He said: "In a difficult market, our own performance has remained on track and we continue to make strong progress on our ambition to disrupt the status quo."

Double digit rises for UK shares

With UK markets set to close in a few minutes, there are a lot of share showing double digit rises today.

Virgin Money is up almost 20%, while Stagecoach has climbed almost 16%.

Taylor Wimpey remains the top riser in the FTSE 100, up around 15%.

Virgin Money leads the bank risers to return to takeover level

Virgin Money branch
Reuters

Bank shares are benefiting today with Virgin Money UK leading the way with a rise of 18.5% to 216p.

The business announced a change in its name from CYBG (Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank) in June this year after buying Virgin Money in June 2018.

But interestingly the share price is roughly back around to the level it was at when CYBG took over Virgin Money.

The shares have climbed from a low during the year of 102.25p to today's level which is more than twice as much.

Other banks benefiting from the election bounce include OneSavings Bank +10.9%, RBS +10.76% and Barclays +7.72%.

Virgin Money shares soar despite loss

Investors in Virgin Money do not seem too perturbed by its results this morning, which showed the bank reporting a full-year loss as a result of setting aside a further £385m to cover PPI mis-selling.

Shares in the bank have jumped nearly 20%, despite Virgin also scrapping its dividend payment.

“Usually a company would expect raspberries from the market when suspending its dividend so the very positive reaction to today’s full year results from Virgin Money is surprising on the face of it," says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“Expectations were pitched fairly low heading into today’s announcement so the company’s solid if unspectacular performance across several metrics has been treated with a sigh of relief."