Virgin Money to axe passbook savings accounts for 100,000 customers

Virgin Money to axe passbook savings accounts for 100,000 customers

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Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 15/01/2024

- 11:33

Updated: 15/01/2024

- 17:37

Passbooks are being scrapped by many high street banks in the UK, including Virgin Money

Virgin Money is among the many high street banks to axe popular passbook savings accounts.

The bank is set to inform 100,000 customers that they will no longer be able to use their passbooks to pay in or withdraw cash in person.

Customers can keep the account they have and simply operate it as a statement-based account instead of using a passbook, but all the features remain the same. However, for the small proportion of customers where this is not possible, customers can move to an alternative savings product, including online, offline and in store options.

This comes soon after a similar decision by the UK’s biggest lender Lloyds Bank which recently withdrew three million passbooks.

Virgin Money branch

Virgin Money is the latest bank to scrap passbooks


Passbooks, or a bankbook, is a paper book which is used to record bank or building society transactions with a deposit account.

This type of financial record was usually used for accounts with a low transaction volume, such as savings products.

Older people are more likely to use passbooks and are often used as evidence of how much they have in their accounts.

Decisions by banks to scrap passbooks have sparked concern that the elderly could be disenfranchised from recent changes to banking even more.

Critics of bank branch closures have warned many pensioners do not use or trust online banking and older households have been forced to contend with their local branches shutting down, despite relying on these sites.

Last year, Virgin Money closed down 39 branches which takes the bank down to just 91 branches nationwide.

Consumer rights watchdog Which? reports that 5,818 branches since 2015 which comes to around 54 locations every month.

The scrapping of passbooks is part of this trend to move bank customers to online services in lieu on in-person interactions, critics say.

Virgin Money logo outside high street bank branch

The bank also shut down 39 branches last year


Among the banks to no longer accept them include Santander and Barclays with Nationwide Building Society no longer offering bankbooks to new customers.

A Virgin Money spokesperson told GB News: "Passbooks are a small part of our overall savings book. In total, we’ve got c.2 million savings accounts and passbook accounts make up around 5% of that total.

"As there are now more secure and convenient ways for customers to manage their money (including offline/in store options), passbook accounts have not been available to open for a number of years and, due to the relatively small volumes of them, we’re in the process of removing them from our range."

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