Clydesdale Bank name to vanish by 2021 as CYBG warns of further job losses

Clydesdale Bank owner CYBG has confirmed plans to overhaul its brand in the next two years as it warned of further potential job cuts following the £1.7 billion Virgin Money takeover.

CYBG has confirmed the centuries-old Clydesdale Bank name will disappear by 2021. Picture: John Devlin
CYBG has confirmed the centuries-old Clydesdale Bank name will disappear by 2021. Picture: John Devlin

The Glasgow-headquartered group will begin to rebrand as Virgin Money this year, calling time on the centuries-old Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank brands within two years.

CYBG also cautioned that a fresh hike in its cost saving targets could trigger further job losses, on top of the 1,500 already set to go as a result of the acquisition of Virgin Money, part of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group, last October.

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It said it was rolling out further automation within its branches and operations under plans to increase annual cost savings by another £50 million to £200m by 2022. This follows an increase announced in February, when the target was upped from an initial £120m.

CYBG will begin by rebranding digital banking arm B to Virgin Money in 2019, to complete by next June, before rolling out the name change to Yorkshire Bank in 2019 and Clydesdale in 2020.

The move will bring to an end more than 175 years of the Clydesdale and Yorkshire brands.

It said the wider CYBG holding company will also change its name to Virgin Money by the end of the year, with the entire business rebranded by the end of 2021.

Chief executive David Duffy said: "Both brands are a by-word for reliability and trust and we understand the emotional attachment customers and local communities have towards them.

"The decision to retire brand names with such long and proud histories is not an easy one."

He added: "Marrying the values and expertise of these heritage brands with the Virgin Money brand will allow us to realise efficiencies and grow our business throughout the UK."

Gary Greenwood, analyst at Shore Capital, said the decision to rebrand makes sense "given that Virgin Money is a much better recognised name than CYBG and should therefore help to raise the enlarged group’s profile with customers and support its growth ambitions".

He said: "While the broader operating environment for CYBG may be challenging due to competitive pressure and an uncertain macro-economic backdrop, we think CYBG is in a relatively well positioned to navigate this."

The group also confirmed it is aiming to boost its share of the personal current account market by around 40 per cent - with the first full Virgin Money offering launching later this year.

A Virgin Money business current account is to follow by summer 2020.