Metro Bank has raised £126 million as it prepares to step up its assault on the high street with a raft of new branches in London and the South East.
Metro became the first new high street player to enter the UK market for 100 years when it opened its doors to customers in July 2010, bidding to cash in on consumer distaste for traditional banking methods in the aftermath of the credit crunch.
It currently has 12 branches in the greater London area with over 80,000 personal and business accounts.
The £126 million growth capital will be used to fund a rapid expansion plan, with seven new branches in London and the Home Counties by the end of the year and plans for 200 by 2020. The bank will employee 700 people by the end of 2012.
The investment has come from new and existing institutional and personal investors.
Craig Donaldson, chief executive, Metro Bank, says: "Londoners are flocking to us to open accounts and we've been blown away by local reaction to our style of community banking. In particular, our strong lending book is a direct result of our model of local bankers making local loans, providing unparalleled personal service."
Metro Bank is one of several new competitors to emerge in the UK banking market, the latest of which is retailer Marks & Spencer which plans to open 50 new 'branches' in stores across the UK over the next two years.