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Metro Bank reveals expansion plans ahead of flotation

Metro Bank has raised £126m to support new branch openings as it eyes a flotation on the London stock exchange in 2014.

The bank, which launched in July 2010, now has over 80,000 personal and business accounts and currently has 12 branches in the Greater London area. However, expansion in other areas has been more difficult for the bank which had provided just 100 mortgages to customers at the end of 2011.

By the end of 2012, it expects to have 700 employees and to have opened an additional seven branches across London and the home counties, including Brighton, Guildford, Reading, Hemel Hempstead, Romford, Staines and Epsom. The plan is to grow to 200 branches in the Greater London area by 2020.

This latest round of capital raising is the third since the bank launched two years ago.

Metro Bank chief executive Craig Donaldson says: “We are pleased that our new and existing shareholders continue to support the revolution in British banking. The capital raise will further strengthen our growth plans and build on our firm foundation.

“The demand for this share placement reflects Metro Bank’s unprecedented success in the market. We have ambitious expansion plans, and customer reaction to the Metro Bank model means that we are confident in achieving our ambitions.”

Last week, Marks & Spencer announced plans to launch a chain of bank branches which will include a mortgage offering. The first M&S branch will open next month within the M&S flagship retail store in Marble Arch, London, with a further 50 branches planned over the next two years.

Tesco Bank is also set to launch a mortgage range in the coming months, although IT problems have delayed its introduction.

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