Metro Bank plans seven new stores in the Home Counties as it raises 126m to keep heat on M&S and Tesco
10:20 GMT, 12 June 2012
10:38 GMT, 12 June 2012
Metro Bank has raised 126million to fund further expansion as it is set to open seven new stores in the Home Counties and increase employee numbers from 500 to 700 by the end of the year.
The High Street bank, which first opened in London in 2010, plans to expand to hold 200 stores in the Greater London area by 2020.
It wants to build on its successful arrival on the scene and chase other new names looking to expand their banking, including retailing giants M&S and Tesco.
Bank expansion: Metro Bank has announced its plans for seven more stores and 700 employees by the end of 2012
The seven new Metro branches are planned for Brighton, Reading, Hemel Hempstead, Romford, Staines and Epsom, signalling the company’s first move into the outside of London and into the home counties.
Metro Bank currently has 12 stores in the Greater London area, most recently opening a branch in Chiswick.
The bank says new investment has come from both new and existing personal and institutional investors.
Its announcement follows the revelation last week that M&S would launch bank branches in 50 of its stores, using its M&S Money brand, which is actually owned and run by HSBC.
Tesco Bank is also continuing to step up its push for customers, current accounts and mortgages are planned alongside its savings, insurance and credit card products, and it recently raised 200m in funding through a highly popular direct corporate bond.
Craig Donaldson, chief executive of Metro
Bank, said: ‘We are pleased that our new and existing shareholders
continue to support the revolution in British banking. The capital raise
will further strengthen our growth plans and build on our firm
'The demand for this share placement reflects Metro Bank’s
unprecedented success in the market. We have ambitious expansion plans,
and customer reaction to the Metro Bank model means that we are
confident in achieving our ambitions.'
The new banking push
The announcement of Metro's expansion comes just after news that Marks & Spencer plans to open 50 banks over the next two years in its high street stores, offering bank accounts and mortgages on top of the existing financial products currently offered by M&S Money.
M&S: Plans to lunch 50 bank branches in stores
Like Metro Bank, which is open 7 days a week and until 8pm on week nights, M&S has pledged that its high street bank branches will match the existing opening hours of its stores. It already has more than 3million customers with most of these holding M&S credit cards
Metro Bank has tried to take advantage
of consumers' disillusionment with the bigger banking institutions, and
M&S will be hoping its trusted brand name and loyal customer
following can help it to do the same.
Supermarket giant Tesco also plans to launch its own current account next year, and already has over 6 million customers with savings accounts, credit cards, insurance policies and loans.
Other rivals trying to take on the big name banks include Co-op Bank, which is trying to buy the 632 branches Lloyds is being forced to sell to hugely expand its presence and new banking group NBNK, which is making a fresh push to secure those branches too.
Metro Bank has grown in popularity not just because of its extended opening hours; it also boasts rapid account opening services with on the spot bank cards and cheque books and a customer-focused approach.
The bank has 80,000 personal and
business accounts, and business lending makes up over half of the bank’s
Despite this healthy customer following it is a small player in the banking sector compared with the likes of Barclays,
Lloyds, HSBC and RBS who have more than a million accounts each and to the ambitions of Tesco, M&S, NBNK and Co-op
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