Metro Bank seeks more sites in the North

A Metro Bank branch in Liverpool

Metro Bank is to cut costs of at least £50 million per year but is also looking at opening even more regional branches.

Having completed a refinancing and offloaded its mortgage book to Barclays, the challenger bank also estimates that a £10-15 million one-off restructuring charge it expected in 2023, will be lower than previously anticipated.

The bank said it remains committed to stores and the high street but will transition to “a more cost-efficient business model, investing in automation for service and back-office operations and improving digital channels, particularly for deposits.” 

The bank is reviewing seven day opening and extended store hours across the store network and is in discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority about the customer implications of any such changes. 

In the statement to the stock market this morning Metro confirmed it also “continues to seek sites in the North of England for new stores”.

Daniel Frumkin, Chief Executive Officer at Metro Bank, said: “The support shown from our investors through this transaction will allow Metro Bank to accelerate its growth plans, with the new capital allowing us to unlock the potential in the business and deliver sustainable profitable returns as we strive to be the number one community bank.

We remain committed to stores and the high street but will transition to a more cost-efficient business model while remaining focussed on customer service. These actions alongside other initiatives to reduce costs are expected to deliver savings of up to £50 million per year on an annualised basis.”

Founded by American billionaire Vernon Hill in 2010 Metro Bank has often been touted as a customer friendly challenger to the big four clearing banks in the UK. It holds £15.5bn in UK customer deposits and boasts 2.8 million customer accounts which it operates through a network of 76 ‘stores’ across the UK, including Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Leicester, Northampton, Sheffield, Merry Hill, Birmingham, Wolverhampton Swindon, Bath, and Bristol.