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Reassurance for Virgin Money staff in Norwich as job cuts announced in CYBG takeover

The Virgin Money Lounge in Castle Street, Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Virgin Money Lounge in Castle Street, Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant 2012

Hundreds of Virgin Money workers in Norwich are likely to avoid the worst effects of a wide-ranging restructure, after the bank accepted a £1.7bn takeover bid from challenger rival CYBG.

The owner of the Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and B brands said around 1,500 full-time equivalent roles were expected to be cut in its merger with Virgin Money, which was formed through a partnership with Norwich Union in 1995.

The finance arm of Sir Richard Branson’s business empire employs around 200 people in Norwich, at its store and lounge in Castle Street and at its design hub in Whiting Road.

The two banks currently employ around 9,500 staff in the UK between them – but have not said where cuts will be made.

CYBG executives said that the majority of the job losses, which will be phased over three years, would affect senior management positions as there is “very little overlap” in customer-facing roles.

A report into the merger also said that the CYBG board “does not expect any material change to the balance of skills and functions in the combined group” – an indication that the design jobs in Norwich could also be safe.

In the announcement of the deal on Monday, CYBG said the agreement would see each Virgin Money share exchanged for 1.2125 shares in the new combined group. The deal values each Virgin Money share at around 371p each and the entire group at £1.7bn.

CYBG’s David Duffy will stay on as chief executive of the new group, with Virgin Money boss Jayne-Anne Gadhia set to serve in a consultancy role as his senior advisor.

The group, which will have its headquarters in Glasgow, will see CYBG’s Jim Pettigrew continue as chairman alongside finance chief Ian Smith.

Ms Gadhia said she had “obtained assurances from CYBG regarding our employees” as well as its Gosforth headquarters but did not provide further details.

“The combination of Virgin Money with CYBG will have greater scale to challenge the big banks,” she said.

“It will also accelerate the delivery of our strategic objectives, particularly the expansion of the products we offer to customers.”

She added: “This is a compelling deal for our shareholders, that accelerates value delivery and represents the beginning of the next chapter of the Virgin Money story.”

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