Virgin Money slashes 400 jobs as it lands £35m government grant
Virgin Money is cutting another 400 jobs in the same week it landed a £35 million grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund.
The company wants to use its new fund money to increase net lending. It also wants to switch its business current account into a financial wellness tracker for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
But whilst Virgin Money invests more in its digital product development going into 2021, it continues to cull its headcount.
The 400 job cuts are part of a forecast 16% reduction in Virgin Money’s headcount, representing 1,500 jobs.
The planned reduction came out of Virgin Money’s takeover by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG) back in 2018.
In July, the lender made 300 of its employees redundant, making a total of 700 employees during the pandemic.
Though Virgin Money did claim that the initial 300 in July was 200 short of its plans, it’s unclear whether this fresh 400 makes up the numbers.
The firm has said it’s trying to avoid compulsory redundancies where possible.
“We are committed to bringing our operations together under the Virgin Money brand to offer customers a sustainable business which is fit for the future,” says Lucy Dimes, Virgin Money’s chief strategy and transformation officer.
Some 52 branches Virgin Money branches have closed. The follows a trend across the UK banking sector. TSB has shut 164 branches and laid off 900 roles. HSBC and insurer LV have also made heavy cuts as of late.
To date, Virgin Money has around 6.6 million customers across the UK. The bank structures its services around personal accounts, mortgages and business accounts.
In July, it launched a four-week beta trial of its new app, ‘Home Buying Coach’. The app is designed to help what the firm is calling “Generation Rent”.
Part of Virgin Money’s wider digital transformation strategy, the app will offer users “expert insights” and personalised plans geared towards their first home purchase.