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Metro Bank gets FSA licence

Metro Bank has been awarded its banking licence by the FSA as it prepares to open two branches in the centre of London.

The bank, which says it is the first brand new bank to come onto the British high street in 150 years, will be open from 8am to 8pm on week days and 10am to 4pm on weekends. It will also only be closed for major public holidays and will ignore bank holidays.

The first two Metro Bank stores will open in the second quarter of 2010 in Holborn and South Kensington. They will be open seven days a week, offer 24 hour help lines and even include public toilets.

Metro Bank’s co-founders are Anthony Thomson and Vernon Hill, who will act as chairman and vice-chairman respectively. Hill was the founder of Commerce Bancorp in the US, which grew from one office in 1973 to a $50bn bank with 500 offices.

Thomson, who is also the chairman of the Financial Services Forum, says: “With Metro Bank we are entering a new era of banking, one where we go back to a more traditional banking model where customer service is key and there is deposit based lending.Our main focus will always be on customers, both retail and business, and making sure we do the right thing by them.”

Metro Bank says it will offer full range business banking products serving the small business market including cash management, deposit services and credit facilities. It also says its local store managers will make lending decisions based on their relationships with local businesses.  

Former RBS retail managing director Craig Donaldson will be chief executive of the bank, while founder of Guinness Flight Asset Management Howard Flight and former Openwork chief executive Keith Carby will be part of the non-executive board.

Metro Bank says it will open a further two branches in Fulham and Hertfordshire later this year, and says it will have 200 branches in the Greater London area within a decade.

Hill says: “At Metro Bank the customer is king and our goal is to reinvent British banking by building fans not customers.”

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. It’s been proved loads of times that extended opening hours makes very little difference to the total business transacted—you just spread it out more. The same people who arrive 2 minutes before closing will still do exactly the same whatever hours are offerred

  2. Well with Keith Carby on board thats the bancassurance sorted.

  3. John Lacy:

    I’m not sure that’s the point. It makes banking easier for the customer and for that reason I wish them well…

  4. I see they offer public toilets and deposit based lending….

  5. public toilets and deposit based lending…that’s just dead pan humour.

    I hope this gives all of us who have had bad service from the high street a new option, so I am sure they will do well.

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