Six years on from the opening of its first store in London in 2010, branch-based challenger Metro Bank has chalked up a £1.6 billion valuation after listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Shares opened on Thursday 10 March, the first day of unconditional dealing, almost 10 per cent up from their placement price. The formal listing comes three days after unofficial grey market trading in the stock. The bank had initially planned to float at £24, but last month it cut the target price to £20 amid a sell-off in banking stocks. By mid-morning the stock stood at £21.95.
Unlike most other digital- and mobile-first challengers, Metro Bank has majored on branch-based access, providing free coin counting for customers and non-customers, instant printing and replacements for lost or stolen debit cards and safe deposit boxes for customers’ valuables. Appealing to a nation of dog-lover, the bank operates under the brand 'Dogs Rule', inviting customers to bring their canine companions along with them for tasty treats and fetching bandanas.
In 2015, the bank welcomed over 200,000 new customers, up 46% year-on-year, taking the number of accounts to 700,000. It also more than doubled lending to £3.5bn, up 123%, and grew deposits to over £5bn, an increase of 78%.
Craig Donaldson, CEO, Metro Bank says: “This listing, and the access to capital it brings, will power the next stage in Metro Bank’s remarkable growth story. Our first branch opened just down the road at Holborn less than six years ago. Today we have 40 stores, 700,000 customer accounts, and over £6 billion in deposits. We’ve also created 2,000 jobs and have thousands more planned."