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I worked at Virgin Money full-time (More than 3 years)
I worked at the Gosforth (Newcastle) head office, which is quite modern and has good facilities such as on-site gym, bank branch, canteen, chill-out room, and even pool tables and arcade machines.
The pay seems to be slightly higher than average for a basic office job, and the company pension was one of the best I've seen at this level, with the company adding another 2x your contribution (e.g. if you pay in 3% of your salary, they'll add another 6% on top).
If you like overtime, then the Processing departments generally have it on offer constantly. Unfortunately this also seems to be a requirement for any sort of promotion.
Management, especially at the team leader level, can be very poor. This is part of a bigger problem that the company have with legacy staff, some of whom were promoted to team leader level or higher during Northern Rock's boom times with little regard for whether they were qualified to do the job. This has left a lot of people either in roles they really aren't any good at, or being paid their old management-level wage despite now being back in an entry-level job.
Another related problem is the 'cliquey' nature of the company, especially in the Processing departments where I worked. If you're quiet, a bit of an introvert, don't work copious amounts of overtime, or don't constantly toe the company line, then you'll have a hard time progressing or even getting listened to, no matter your achievements or ideas. If you've got the gift of the gab or are friendly with the managers, then you can get yourself heard (and promoted) no problem. Time and time again people seemed to be given jobs based purely on how much overtime they could work or how popular they were, with factors such as past performance or competence ignored.
This is of course true of many other companies, but in a bank that professes to be different than the others and open to new ideas, they really should be doing something to tackle this culture. Sadly in the years I worked there, I saw no change in this area, not helped by the legacy staff issues (with lots of old school thinking) mentioned above.
Despite moves to improve the IT infrastructure in the last year, the software in most areas is woefully out of date. Up until 2016, many computers were still running Office 97, and the main mortgage processing software dates from 15-20 years ago. A large number of processes are still very manual, leading to some boring and repetitive roles if you're unlucky. Having seen the internal IT, I am not at all surprised that VM are well behind other banks when it comes to online banking.
One other thing, if you have expectations of a vaguely 21st-century social environment in the workplace, the Processing departments probably aren't for you. They may have a majority of female team leaders, but the conduct of some of the men would've got them fired long ago from more modern companies, and many of the women seem quite happy in their role as the butt of all manner of Bernard Manning style 'jokes'.
Advice to Management
Management need to take a very close look at the team leaders and other low-level managers and decide if that's really the best they can do. Some of them are downright incompetent, others simply out of their depth and ineffectual. The roles of team leader, quality coach and workflow lead used to be done by one person in each team, but despite now being split into three jobs, the team leaders still seem to spend 90% of their day in meetings, which never seem to lead to much change. Myself and others got a strong sense that they were just filling up the time with long discussions despite having little power to bring in real change or new ideas, at least not in areas that mattered.
Instead of just shuffling people around, bring in some new team leaders from OUTSIDE of the company (the benefits to internal recruiting seem negligible, since few of the team leaders were able to answer technical or process-related questions). Stop recruiting based on people's ability to smile and play along, and start hiring some competent, intelligent leaders who have the confidence to challenge convention and bring in new thinking.
I applied in-person. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at Virgin Money (Newcastle upon Tyne, England) in December 2017.
Long winded took ages to get back, started with a telephone interview then there was to be two further face to face interviews. Feedback contradicted answers to questions that were given.
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