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Metro Bank pledges to return to “core banking values”

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by Kay Mitchell

Metro Bank, which was recently granted a banking licence by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), has told Sky News that it plans to make banking a “fun retail experience”.

The bank, which is set to become Britain’s first new high street lender for more than a century, is set to open two branches in central London by early June.

The bank, which is backed by US billionaire and former Commerce Bank owner Vernon Hill, is focusing on shop hours by opening seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm on weekdays.

It has also pledged to return to “core banking values” and says it will employ more cashiers than the existing “big four” banks, while keeping its call centre in London.

It said its call centre will aim to pick up a call on the second ring every time.

Meanwhile, according to reports, the bank is aiming for a contemporary feel with the inside of the first new bank to resemble a hotel reception, rather than a bank.

Anthony Thomson, Metro Bank chairman, said: “We are looking to compete with high-end retailers rather than other banks for sites.”

Meanwhile, Mr Hill believes their timing is impeccable and said: “There could not be a better time to open a new bank in Britain.”

It has an ambitious expansion programme and is proposing to build a network of more than 200 branches over the next decade.

“When I started in America, we had one office, and we grew to 500”, said Mr Hill.

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News posted: March 15, 2010

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