Metro Bank expansion is great news
Metro Bank has raised £126 million from investors to support further expansion.
Metro Bank opened its first branch in 2010 with an emphasis on customer service and long opening hours. All branches are open seven days a week with 12-hour opening from Monday to Friday.
The bank currently has 12 branches in the Greater London area and plans to open seven further branches this year. For the first time, some branches will be opened outside London including Brighton, Reading and Hemel Hempstead. Metro hopes to have 200 branches by 2020.
Metro also says it now has 80,000 business and personal customers which is an impressive achievement given that its products rarely top best buy tables. There’s clearly a demand for high quality, branch-based customer service.
The growth of Metro Bank is good news because it means more competition in the retail banking market. Increased competition is the best way to ensure that banks stop trying to rip us off with dodgy products.
Metro’s expansion follows last week’s news that M&S is about to launch a full service bank offering current accounts and mortgages. What’s more, Tesco is expected to launch a current account at some point in 2013.
It’s all very encouraging, but don’t forget, you have a role to play too. If everyone carries on banking with the same bank they’ve always banked with, not much will change. But if a significant number of customers are prepared to switch, the benefits of greater competition should kick in for everyone.
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