Around 100 Chester-based Virgin Money employees will be worried about their careers because of a merger that could result in 1,500 job losses across the combined group.
Virgin Money has agreed to be taken over by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group (CYBG) in a £1.7bn deal.
Unite the union, representing the workforce at both companies, has expressed alarm at the prospect of hundreds of job losses.
Cutting overlapping roles could mean a 16% decrease in the workforce of 9,500 full time equivalent posts amounting to about 1,500 jobs.
About 100 Virgin Money employees are based at Gorse Stacks House in George Street, Chester. Virgin Money also has a branch in Watergate Street.
Rob MacGregor, Unite national officer, said: “The purchase of Virgin Money by CYBG will change the face of banking in many high streets across the country. It is vital that the skilled and experienced workforce are given assurances that branches and contact centres will not be closed leaving customers without their much valued access to local banking.
“Unite is now seeking an urgent meeting with the new combined chief executive David Duffy in order to secure assurances about the employment of the dedicated women and men across the county.”
Virgin Money staff in Chester’s Gorse Stacks House manage the credit card operation.
The Virgin credit card used to be managed and serviced by Chester-based MBNA but the company decided to launch its own credit card business in 2015 when it moved into financial services after taking over Northern Rock building society.
Virgin bought £1bn credit card assets from MBNA and initially hired office space in nearby Regus House on Chester Business Park.
Virgin Money chose Chester for its new operation because of the existing skills base in financial services. The relocation into new city centre premises, with room for expansion, showed its commitment to the city.
Michele Greene, director of strategic developments, said at the time of the move: “Chester is a very important location now for Virgin Money and we expect to continue to grow here as we build our business for the future.
“Our new office, located right here in the heart of Chester, gives us the perfect base to do that and the team are delighted to have moved in to this brilliant new office space.”
The office was designed by London architects Spacelab who have worked with Virgin Money on their award-winning customer lounges.
Virgin Money likes to create attractive and comfortable surroundings for its employees. And away from the modern workspace where the day job gets done, staff enjoy relaxing break-out areas and meeting rooms decorated with artwork drawn from the rich heritage of the Virgin Group, including iconic bands from the Virgin Records label.