Britain's Virgin Money cuts further 400 jobs

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside a branch of Virgin Money in Manchester, Britain, November 20, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble

LONDON (Reuters) - British lender Virgin Money VMUK.L is cutting up to 400 jobs, as it presses ahead with cutbacks after shelving restructuring plans early in the pandemic.

Virgin Money said on Tuesday the cuts were part of a forecast 16% reduction in headcount planned after its takeover by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group in 2018.

The lender restarted axing jobs in July, making 300 redundancies, which it said at the time was 200 fewer redundancies than it had previously planned. It also closed 52 branches.

Firms across the UK financial sector have ramped up cost-cutting in recent weeks, with rival lender TSB - part of Spain's Sabadell SABE.MC - shutting 164 branches and laying off 900 roles last week.

Banking giant HSBC HSBA.L and insurer LV are also making deep cuts.

Virgin Money said it would look to avoid compulsory redundancies where possible.

“We are committed to bringing our operations together under the Virgin Money brand to offer customers a sustainable business which is fit for the future,” Lucy Dimes, chief strategy and transformation officer, said in a statement.

Reporting by Iain Withers, editing by Sinead Cruise