Finance · 17 January 2017

Metro Bank expands teams in further commitment to local business

Between 2013 and 2016, the number of open Metro Bank UK branches doubled from 24 to 48

In a further pledge to small businesses, the self-declared “entrepreneur’s bank” has said that increasing the number of local business managers across the country will ensure a higher proportion of startups get off the ground.

In a statement, Metro Bank business banking director, Ian Walters, explained the decision to grow the team. “For years now, businesses have been underserved by banks and over time this has chipped away at their relationship, exacerbated by unremitting cost-cutting measures,” he said.

“Our new Local Business Managers will provide a welcoming presence on the high street, and will be there to assist businesses at every stage of their development. Metro Bank is committed to investing in supporting local businesses and giving them the flexibility and help they need to develop.”

The team expansion follows Metro Bank’s recent launch earlier this month of a £1bn fund for loans to new and existing business customers. The further commitment to small business followed £544m in commercial and business loans the new bank made to customers in 2015, and £551m in the first three quarters of 2016.

Metro Bank also reported a 66 per cent year-on-year growth in deposits to £7.3bn, 52 per cent of which came from business and commercial customers.

The lender is one of several challenger banks, including the likes of Aldermore and Clydesdale, which are attempting to disrupt the finance landscape for UK business and draw customers away from traditional high street lenders.

By offering services the mainstream banks do not, such as the ability to issue cards and cheque books to new customers on the spot, free coin counting and branches that remain open seven days a week, as well as early in the morning and late at night, Metro Bank claims to have designed its services with its customers in mind.

Walters added: “There’s enough obstacles to overcome as a business-owner, your bank shouldn’t be one of them.”

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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