Virgin Money is taking advantage of new hybrid working arrangements to downsize its real estate requirements.
The changes follow Virgin Money’s announcement on 30 September 2021 that it will have lower office space requirements as office hubs are re-purposed to fit new ways of working.
The group said at the time that the office rationalisation, together with the closure of 31 branches, will see it incur a £45m restructuring charge in Q4.
Under the bank’s ‘A Life More Virgin’ programme, the majority of staff will be able to work remotely for significant periods of time, travelling to offices primarily for collaboration purposes. In certain “key locations”, Virgin Money intends to transform existing cubicled office space into collaborative hubs.
In Scotland, tthe bank says its long-term strategy remains to move into new, purpose-built offices at 177 Bothwell Street towars the end of 2023.
From December, use of Guildhall, Queen Street will reduce which, along with offices at St Vincent Place and West George Street, will provide collaboration space for staff ahead of the move to Bothwell Street.
Granite House, which previously accommodated the PPI remediation programme, was closed at the start of the pandemic and will not reopen due to the ending of that programme.
In the North East of the country six buildings will be closed, while two will be refitted for collaborative working, with an additional building retained for contingency purposes.
The bank says it aims to upgrade its office space on Leeds Briggate, its largest site in Yorkshire, and make arrangements for staff to work locally in bank branches in the surrounding area.
Fraser Ingram, chief digital and innovation officer at Virgin Money, says: “With ‘A Life More Virgin’, our colleagues have much more flexibility to choose how and where they work. To support this, we will ensure we offer modern, vibrant and collaborative hubs in our key locations, striking the right balance between creating spaces to support the needs of our colleagues, cost efficiency and our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.”