Just six months after Sir Richard Branson was in Norwich to launch the brand new Virgin Money bank, staff have been hit with an ultimatum to ‘up sticks’ and move away from Norfolk or face the threat of redundancy.
The bank which employs around 250 staff here in Norwich plans to reduce it’s Norfolk workforce down to 215 meaning some 35 employees could be at risk – thought to be those currently working in the IT, finance and HR departments. If these individuals decline the bank’s relocation package they could be laid off.
This weeks bombshell was made all the more harder to swallow following Branson’s original prediction in January that the bank would be increasing it’s Norwich head count in the future, rather than reducing it.
Virgin Direct, the predecessor to Virgin Money started life in Discovery House on the city’s Whiting Road back in 1994. An agreement with Norwich Union saw many of it’s staff seconded into roles with Virgin and the operation went from strength to strength over the years that followed.
The Norwich staff affected by this recent change in bank strategy, designed to make the business more efficient and cost effective have been offered relocation packages to either Newcastle or Edinburgh.