Metro Bank (United Kingdom)
|Public limited company|
Number of locations
|32 stores (branches)|
(Chief Executive Officer)
|Products||Credit Cards, Consumer Banking, Corporate Banking|
|Slogan||"Love your bank at last"|
Metro Bank PLC is a retail bank operating in the United Kingdom, founded by Vernon Hill in 2010. At its launch it was the first new high street bank to launch in the United Kingdom in over 150 years.
Metro Bank PLC was granted its licence by the Financial Services Authority on 5 March 2010, the first high-street bank to be granted such a licence for over 150 years. Its first branch opened on 29 July 2010 in Holborn, followed by Earl's Court (Cromwell Road) on 3 September 2010. Metro Bank opened its 32nd branch on 30 January 2015, in Cambridge.
Metro Bank increased its account holders by 50% in the first half of 2013 for a total of 200,000 customer accounts, including 15,000 business accounts. The bank aims to have 25 branches open by the close of the 2013 and 200 UK branches by 2020. Recent expansion includes the opening of a Guildford branch in April 2013 and commencement of construction of a Cheapside branch in July, which is due to open by the end of 2013. In 2012 Forbes Magazine reported that Metro's flagship Holborn branch had "...garnered $200 million in deposits, four times the total at the average mature American branch."
In 2012, Metro Bank raised an additional $200 million in funding from investors including Fidelity, Steven A. Cohen of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, and New York real estate investors the LeFraks and David and Simon Reubens.
On 2 May 2013 the Daily Telegraph reported that, following a loss of £8.8 million in the first quarter of 2013, Metro Bank's pre-tax losses had exceeded £100 million in less than three years since its launch, but the bank stated that these were planned for, and were "a result of its growth initiatives". In an interview with the Financial Times, Hill said the bank was "...in line with the business plan to rapidly grow this company,” he added. "Our primary goal is to expand the business . . . and profit certainly will come."
The bank had 850 employees in London by July 2013 and forecasted more than 1,000 London-based employees by the end of 2013. The bank plans to open between 200 and 250 branches in Greater London within 10 years of starting up.
Metro Bank acquired SME Finance in August 2013 and rebranded the business as Metro Bank SME Finance in May 2014.
Metro Bank provides banking services to personal and business customers. It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by both the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
In addition to traditional banking services, the bank offers non-traditional services, including:
- quoting a time of 15 minutes to open an account at a Metro branch
- a "pet-friendly" policy at branches, such as free dog biscuits and water for customers' dogs, of which Hill said, "Customers think that if we take care of their dogs then we will also take care of them." The company offers a refund to customers who rehome a pet from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and is the official banking partner of The Kennel Club. Metro Bank also won the Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs Competition 2011.
- coin counting machines for customers to sort and deposit change
Hill founded Commerce Bancorp (commonly known as Commerce Bank) in 1973. Starting from one office in Philadelphia, USA, it grew to have assets of US$50 billion and 500 offices throughout the eastern coast of the USA. Commerce Bank has received consumer awards[which?] for best retail bank. It was bought by Toronto-Dominion Bank in 2007 for $8.5bn.
Hill received the Institute of Economic Affairs’ Free Enterprise Award in April 2013. The organisation cited him as "a remarkable entrepreneur who has identified a clear opportunity and entered the UK banking scene at a time when the sector has been under constant fire". Previous winners include Margaret Thatcher and Sir Richard Branson.
Craig Donaldson, the Chief Executive Officer, started his career on the Barclays graduate scheme in 1995. Later he worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland where he met Hill. Together they decided to set up a UK equivalent to Commerce Bancorp. This idea grew into Metro Bank.
- Chris Harlow, Metro Bank’s chief executive Craig Donaldson reveals what he looks for when hiring new talent, City A.M., 5 March 2013
- "Computer says no". 22 July 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- "Metro Bank opens doors in UK". BBC News. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- "Dog-friendly Metro Bank opens store with two-day festivities in Cambridge". Cambridge News. 30 January 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- Winch, Jessica (29 July 2013). "Metro Bank reaches 200,000 customer accounts". The Telegraph (London).
- "Metro Bank to Have 200 U.K. Branches by 2020". Bloomberg TV. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "Metro Bank brings the banking revolution to Guildford with opening of 17th Store". Metro Bank Press Release. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "Metro Bank comes to the City". Easier.com. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- Tully, Shawn. "The bank that's rising amid Europe's ashes". Fortune. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- Armitstead, Louise (28 April 2013). "Monday Interview: All-American shake-up comes to UK banking". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 20 August 2013.
Hill raised £250m from investors at the start and said it would take years to make a profit.
- Sakoui, Anousha. "Metro Bank plans expansion and listing". Financial Times. Pearson. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- Pollock, Ian (29 July 2010). "Metro Bank: Sublime or ridiculous?". BBC News. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Metro Bank Launches Metro Bank SME Finance". Press AT. 20 May 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
- "Metro Bank Online". Metro Bank PLC. December 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
Metro Bank PLC. Registered in England and Wales. Company number: 6419578. Registered office: One Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5HA. We are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Most relevant deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
- "New High Street bank Metro Bank debit cards 15 minutes". Daily Mail (London). 23 July 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- Salmon, James. "CITY INTERVIEW: The Metro maverick who's teaching new tricks to old banks". Daily Mail. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "Dogs Rule". Metro Bank. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- Armitstead, Louise (28 April 2013). "Monday Interview: All-American shake-up comes to UK banking". The Telegraph (London).
- "IEA awards Free Enterprise Award to Vernon Hill". Institute of Economic Affairs. Retrieved 20 August 2013.