Metro Bank announces expansion
Metro Bank, a relative newcomer to the high street, is opening seven more branches across south east England.
The bank, which opened its first branch in 2010, already has 12 branches in Greater London.
It has raised £126m from investors to fund new branches in Brighton, Reading, Hemel Hempstead, Romford, Staines and Epsom.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Metro Bank’s chief executive Craig Donaldson said that the bank is also planning to float on the stock market, but not until at least 2014.
The additional funding raised from a floatation would support further expansion in the south east, with the bank targeting 200 stores in the region by the end of 2019.
Metro Bank was the first was new high street bank to open in the UK for more than a century, and since it was formed it has gained 80,000 accounts although it has made little headway into the mortgage market.
Unlike traditional high street banks, Metro Bank opens at the weekend and has longer opening hours during the working week, when it opens at 8 am and doesn’t close until 8 pm.
Competition on the high street has also been boosted in recent years by a number of retailers moving into financial services.
Tesco’s financial services operation has 6.5 million customers and the retailer is planning to launch a current account next year.
Marks and Spencer has also revealed plans to offer current accounts and mortgages.
The retailer is expanding its M&S Money service, which it runs in partnership with HSBC.
It plans to open 50 M&S Bank branches within its UK stores over the next two years, starting next month in London, with a branch at its flagship Marble Arch store.
Like Metro Bank, M&S will also open seven days a week, with the bank branches keeping the same opening hours as the stores.