Clydesdale Bank owner Virgin Money halts plans for branch closures

Clydesdale Bank owner Virgin Money has shelved plans to axe 500 jobs and shut or merge more than 50 UK branches due to the coronavirus crisis.

Virgin Money had been due to close six Clydesdale Bank outlets this year.

The lender had been due to close 22 branches, including six Clydesdale Bank outlets, and consolidate another 30 while also rebranding the entire network as Virgin Money by October.

The banking giant said it would now not be going ahead with the measures “until further notice”. The group has previously warned around 16 per cent of the combined workforce will go due to the £1.7 billion takeover of Virgin Money.

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Lucy Dimes, group business transformation officer at Virgin Money UK, said: "Our primary focus is on supporting our customers and protecting our colleagues during this challenging time.

"As a result of the impact of coronavirus in the UK, we have decided not to proceed with the integration changes we announced in February."

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The Bank of England has asked banks and building societies to keep branches open wherever possible amid the lockdown.

But many major banks and building societies - such as Nationwide, Lloyds and HSBC - are temporarily reducing their opening hours or shutting branches as coronavirus spreads.

Social distancing measures are also being imposed in branches to help limit the spread of Covid-19.

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