Is Metro Bank the new, friendly face of banking?
There are three types of mistruths in the world, lies, damned lies and statistics. Last week we reported that you are more likely to get divorced than change your bank account and that only 22% of people would consider a new-fangled bank, with most preferring a traditional bank. This week we learn that new entrant Metro Bank is doing quite nicely indeed thank you very much.
New figures suggest that the newest High Street bank has increased customer numbers by 50% in the last six months, now topping 200,000 customers. As at 30th June this year, Metro Bank deposits stood at £870m and lending had increased to £366m, all going from a standing start three years ago when it’s first branch opened in Holborn, London. The bank, which already has 19 stores (rather than branches) in London, plans to expand to 25 locations in the capital by the end of the year.
And unusually for a bank, it is not making a fortune out of its customer base; perhaps that is the secret to its success. The bank has reported a £19.4m operating loss for the first half of 2013 as a result of its growth plans, and doesn’t expect to be in profit until the second half of 2014. The bank has also created 850 jobs, which it expects to increase to more than 1,000 this year.
Craig Donaldson, chief executive of Metro Bank told The Telegraph: “The British people have demanded a revolution in banking, including a focus on service, the end of stupid bank rules and ultimate convenience. Metro Bank is here to provide this choice.
"Given the strong start we’ve had in 2013, we’re on track to have a record breaking second half of the year and look forward to bringing the best in customer service to thousands more people and businesses."
So do you have a Metro Bank account? Would you if there was a branch near you? Is it the customer service revolution (including dog-friendly branches, open 7 days a week) that attracts you or would anyone who isn’t one of the nasty banking-crash banks do?