Virgin Money close the doors on Lanarkshire branches

Branches of Virgin Money in Lanarkshire have shut their doors for good.

The rebranded Clydesdale Bank branch in East Kilbride’s Princes Mall closed recently with the Airdrie and Cumbernauld branches shutting down a few weeks earlier.

Bank officials say the closures – affecting 31 locations across the UK, with the loss of 112 jobs – are in response to “changing customer demand”, including a continuing reduction in the number of people using its branches, “accelerated by the pandemic”.

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The closure is a blow for East Kilbride town center with MSP Collette Stevenson branding it an “appalling” decision.

She told Lanarkshire Live: “For many, this closure will be a worry.

“It is disappointing to see another unit close in East Kilbride Shopping Center and I have been discussing this issue with the town center management.”

Customers are being redirected to the bank’s branches at Falkirk, Rutherglen and Baillieston, and to Post Offices for transactions including cash deposits and withdrawals, check deposits, balance inquiries and coin exchange.

Virgin Money says the decision to close the three Lanarkshire branches – which are among 12 in Scotland to shut – is “based on a number of factors, including location, usage, proximity to alternative stores and lease arrangements”.

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East Kilbride Central North councillor, Joe Fagan, added: “When the Clydesdale Bank closed in the Village, local customers, including local businesses, were directed towards what is now Virgin Money in the town centre.

“There may be less physical cash circulating in the local economy but it hasn’t gone away. There are aspects of banking that really have to be treated as a utility, not just a commercial service.”

Virgin said each store was assessed on “an individual basis”, with careful consideration of the impact on the local area and customers taken.

The bank says it “regularly reviews the ways customers use its stores, as well as online, mobile and telephone channels, so that it can adapt its services”.

A spokesman for EK, East Kilbride, said: “Unfortunately this is a company wide decision that affects many Virgin Money branches across the UK, and is another sign of the impact the COVID pandemic has had on the high street.

“Despite these challenging conditions the center is continuing discussions with a number of retailers about a potential move to EK.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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