Around 500 jobs are expected to be lost at the Virgin Money group as the business announced further integration plans.

Virgin Money said it would close 22 branches across the country in 2020, and would consolidate a further 30 branches within one of its nearby locations, after a merger between Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank and Virgin Money.

Around 500 full-time equivalent roles will be cut across the business, including 215 in its branches, the bank announced.
CYBG paid £1.7 billion for Virgin Money in 2018 as it tried to get a foothold to challenge the bigger players.

At the time it warned that around 16% of the combined workforce would be cut, losing 1,500 jobs across the group. The 500 roles are part of this restructuring.

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At the time, the business said the bulk of the cuts would be in senior management positions as there was little overlap in customer-facing roles.

All three parts of the business are set to start using the Virgin Money brand from 2021, after the group rebranded.

Virgin Money said the branch closures would allow the bank to ensure it has a network that is "fit for the future" and reflects how customers want to use its services.

Lucy Dimes, group business transformation officer, said: "The decision to close branches is never taken lightly.

"The changes announced today are focused on consolidating branches where there is another Clydesdale Bank/Yorkshire Bank/Virgin Money location within half a mile, as well as closing a number of branches to reflect changes to customer demand."

The number of customers who want to use branches for day-to-day banking has been falling for several years across all banks, Virgin said.

Around 280,000 cheques were deposited by the bank's mobile phone app rather than in branches last year.

The stores will start to close in late May.

They include six Clydesdale Bank branches, 12 Yorkshire Bank sites, and four Virgin Money banks.

Scottish Power's chief executive is hoping to attract customers by being straightforward about its green credentials, as 317,000 households left the supplier for rivals last year.

Keith Anderson promised "no tricks, no gimmicks" as the business tries to win customers to its renewable tariff.

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Any new fixed contract customers will be signed up to a renewable power deal, getting energy from its wind turbines.

Many companies market renewable tariffs to customers, which they meet by buying a certificate, rather than buying electrons from wind farms.

"As far as we're concerned, that's complete nonsense ... we think there's a whole load of customers out there who think they're buying renewable energy," he said.

It lost 317,000 customers in 2019, and with the double-whammy of Ofgem's price cap and mild weather, profit fell substantially.

Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) dropped by 64% to £96.7 million in the unit, Scottish Power said. Electricity consumption dropped 10%, while gas was down 7%.

Scottish Power's renewables business, which runs the wind farms, improved ebitda by 0.7% to £461 million, while the energy network business rose by 6.5% to £866.6 million.

Revolution Bars has signalled plans to return to expansion in the next financial year as it makes progress with its turnaround plan.

The bar business, which also runs Revolucion de Cuba, said it is focusing on consolidation for the rest of the financial year after closing five sites shortly after the most recent six-month period.

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The London-listed firm updated investors on its turnaround plans as it reported a 20.5% jump in adjusted pre-tax profits to £3.5 million in the half-year to December 28.

Total sales increased by 3.5% to £81.2 million for the period, with like-for-like sales 1.2% higher.

The hospitality business said it has also seen improving consumer confidence in recent months, as it was buoyed by 4% growth over the key Christmas period.

Rob Pitcher, chief executive officer of the company, said it has made "significant progress" in revitalising the Revolution brand and has also improved the performance of its Cuban-themed sister business.

He said: "Half two has started encouragingly and should we continue on our current trajectory then the board is confident the business will be well-positioned to resume site expansion in full-year 2021."

Mr Pitcher also said he would join others in the hospitality sector in urging the Government to look at reforming business rates.

He told the PA news agency: "We urgently need a review of rates.

"Our rates were almost £100,000 per site per year, having risen from around £60,000.

"The current rates system is simply an outdated system so its something we hope they look at."

Shares in the company slipped 3.8% lower to 65.4p on Wednesday.