Metro Bank raises £126m to fund new branches

Metro Bank raises £126m to fund new branches

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.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 June, 2012, 07:30Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes It would be interesting to see the stats on branch visit following an account opening - existing customers can (should be able to) deal with most issues over the phone or via the Internet. Whilst physical presence is reassuring, lack of it is not a hindrance - First Direct attracted over a million customers well before the Internet entered the mainstream use in the UK, purely on the "phone banking" basis. Its growth rate was similar to that of Metro. Several large US banks are initiating branch closure process, not without a (good) reason. Think about it: would you choose a bank that delivers all you need from banking in the way that fully suits you or a bank with the closest branch? Metro are doing a great job with the branch experience, but why stop there - Apple has amazing stores, yet it's not just the stores that determine Apple's cult status.