British bank Virgin Money UK Plc is closing almost one-fifth of its branches in the next few months to ramp up its digital and mobile presence, according to a Bloomberg report Thursday (Sept. 30).
Virgin Money released a statement Thursday that said there are 31 branches set to close in the coming months, noting the COVID-19 pandemic has moved more of the bank’s business to its website and mobile platforms. The closures will trigger a 25-million-pound ($34 million) restructuring fee, the report says.
Virgin Money will also spend 20 million pounds (almost $27 million) to overhaul its existing office space “to fit new ways of working” and give workers more flexibility in an effort to “boost well-being and productivity,” according to the company statement.
Virgin’s restructuring charges for this fiscal year are now at about 145 million pounds ($195.5 million).
Virgin Money joins Lloyds Banking Group Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc as major financial institutions that have announced they’ll be closing branches in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, which has led more business leaders to weigh the pros and cons of brick-and-mortar locations in an era when more people are doing just about everything online.
In April, Virgin Money announced its collaboration with FinTech Trade Ledger to further develop its corporate banking offering.
Virgin Money Group Business Director Gavin Opperman said in last month’s announcement that client experience is essential as the company gets ready to bring its corporate banking offering to the market in the fall.
Virgin Money also recently teamed with FinTechs Fluidly, Strands, Redspire, Waracle, Codat and Life Moments.