Here's what the new Virgin Money branches will look like as the Yorkshire Bank brand begins to vanish

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Virgin Money is to open the first wave of its new branches as it subsumes the Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale brands.

Now UK’s largest challenger bank, Virgin Money successfully merged with the old CYBG business earlier in the year.

It launches its first ever digital current account and mobile app next month – alongside the opening stores in Manchester, Birmingham and London.

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The launch of the current account, backed with full mobile, online, telephone and in-store service – and the unveiling of the Bank’s new store format, will fire the starting gun on a £60m re-branding programme.

The new look Manchester branchThe new look Manchester branch
The new look Manchester branch

Yorkshire Bank announced in September it is to leave its Leeds headquarters on Merrion Way and relocate into its Briggate branch, a move which has placed 500 roles at risk. This wave of activity will include rebranding the accounts of all 6 million customers to the Virgin Money brand, as the bank looks to break the big banks’ stranglehold on the UK’s stagnant current account market.

The new bank app will include:

- budgeting and savings tools, enabling customers to set spending budgets and savings targets;

- live spending data, notifications and alerts, with tagging features helping customers easily identify and control spending across different categories, as well as live balance and transaction alerts;

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David DuffyDavid Duffy
David Duffy

- an easy-to-view single timeline of all transactions across all accounts;

- a smart ‘sweep’ feature – automatically transferring money from customers’ other accounts when running low, to help avoid fees and charges;

- enhanced security features, including personalised in-app authorisation and secure messaging, alongside Touch ID and Face ID on supported customer devices;

- a wide range of customer service options so customers can look after their money wherever, whenever and however they want – offering both Live Chat and Secure Messages in-app as well as online, a dedicated 24 hour customer service line and a full in-store service;

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The bank's Leeds branch on BriggateThe bank's Leeds branch on Briggate
The bank's Leeds branch on Briggate

- an in-app digital store offering customers a range of money-saving tools, services and products – including the money-saving energy switching tool the Bank recently launched in partnership with GoCompare;

- the ability to take advantage of Open Banking and PSD2 developments, using the Bank’s advanced technology platform – for example being able to view accounts held at other banks.

The Bank will also introduce fee-free debit card transactions abroad on the new current account and will be introducing enhancements to the current account proposition in summer 2020.

It is also enhancing its customer service offering as it targets lifting the Bank into the top 3 of Banks in the Competition & Marketing Authority (CMA) official customer service rankings by 2022.

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The bank is to leave its current Leeds HQ next yearThe bank is to leave its current Leeds HQ next year
The bank is to leave its current Leeds HQ next year

The new Virgin Money brand launch follows the acquisition of Virgin Money by the owners of Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banks in 2018. As of October 2019, all customers with Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank, B and Virgin Money are served from a single authorised and regulated banking entity.

Virgin Money is also opening three newly re-branded flagship stores in Manchester, Birmingham and London, as its first wave of activity to re-brand the Bank’s store network begins.

These first three sites were all first launched under the Bank’s ground-breaking B concept stores. When launched in December, all three stores will now carry the new distinctive Virgin Money branding and follow the new store concept which reimagines what a bank branch should be. The stores will be a place for entrepreneurs to co-work and create, offering free coffee, a venue for events and concerts, a social media studio for content creation, and more.

David Duffy, Chief Executive of Virgin Money, said: “The launch of our new Virgin Money current account is hugely exciting, bringing together the best in digital and mobile technology, so customers can manage their finances with ease. This combined with the brilliant service customers expect from Virgin, alongside our exciting plans for the future – including a unique new customer rewards programme coming next year – we’re creating a banking experience like no other.”