Virgin Money to close Cumbernauld branch in January

Virgin Money has announced that its Cumbernauld branch will cease trading on January 6.

The branch served the town for decades as a Clydesdale Bank before latterly becoming a Virgin Money

The former Clydesdale Bank premises in Tay Walk is one of 12 Scottish stores to close in Scotland after the finance giant announced that it was “adapting to changing customer demand”.

It has stated that the number of customers using its branches for day-to-day transactions has been on a “downward tragectory” for a number of years. The company also said that the pandemic was responsible

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It has stated that each store was assessed on a case-to-case basis and the decision was ultimately made to scrap the branch.

Customers are being advised that they can bank at the Post Office, while the nearest branch of the bank is in Kirkintilloch.

Fergus Murphy, group customer experience director, said: “As our customers change the way they want to bank with us and conduct fewer transactions in-store, we must continue to evolve the role of our stores into places where we showcase our products and bring our digital services to life.”

However, that is just not good enough, according to Cumbernauld’s parliamentarians.

Jamie Hepburn MSP said: "Cumbernauld is a town of some 50,000 plus residents with a wider hinterland. If a town of this size cannot sustain a bank then it is alarming for the future direction of retail banking. “Other banks who have withdrawn from neighbouring Kilsyth have talked a good game about supporting such customers, but in practice have not done so in an ongoing meaningful manner.

"Virgin's own announcement makes clear that over a third of their current customers are not digitally active at this branch, but provides little in the way of a commitment to supporting them."

Meanwhile Stuart McDonald MP added: "This is very disappointing news for the town. It does does raise questions about the wider regulation of these businesses and how many of them are now failing to provide even the most basic local services.

"The fact the company are using footfall figures from the midst of a global pandemic as justification for their closure will only serve to fuel the suspicion this has been in the planning for some time."