Metro Bank ramps up lending
It also lent £97.5m to businesses in 2012, up from £32.3m in 2011. By the end of the year the bank, which was set up in 2010, had brought in £576m in customer deposits, with the number of current account holders rising threefold to 136,000 by December 2012.
Metrobank offers a raft of residential and buy-to-let mortgages to borrowers who live rouhgly within a 30-mile radius of its ‘stores’. Its loans are available via selected mortgage advisers and over the counter in its 19 stores, which for now are located in London and the South East. The most recent launch was a store at Ealing Broadway which opened its doors on 7th June.
It plans to open 200 branches by the end of 2020. The brainchild of US entrepreneur Vernon Hill, Metrobank was the first new UK bank to gain a license in 100 years when it set up in 2010.
Metro Bank’s aim is to set itself apart from traditional banks by offering better service, longer opening hours, and added extras such as change converting machines and free dog biscuits for customers’ pets.
In terms of mortgages, the total amount Metro Bank has lent to date is small compared to the huge high street behemoths, but its contribution to overall lending is welcome in a market which remians subdued.
Metro Bank reported a pre-tax loss of £45.7m in 2012, and a further £8.8m loss for the first three months of 2013. The bank made a pre-tax loss of £33.1m in 2011.
The bank said that ts losses were the result of the large investment needed to finance its expansion, setting up new stores, building infrastructure and operating systems.
It has not invested heavily in marketing, preferring to use its stores as high street advertisements. According to a recent survey, 71% of Londoners now recognise the Metro Bank brand.