Metro Bank sees increase in customer deposits while lending dips

Metro Bank said it saw a jump in customer deposits while lending dipped in the first quarter of 2020.

The challenger bank said customer deposits increased by £77 million to a total of £14.5 billion for the three months to the end of March.

It said this reflected a growth in the use of retail savings accounts, as customers shrugged off lower fixed term deposit rates.

Deposit rates remained stable throughout April, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it said.

It said the bank has also put in place new processes to help more vulnerable customers access cash and contact advisers.

Meanwhile, total net lending slipped by £169 million to £14.5 billion for the period compared to the previous quarter.

Metro Bank said it is supporting customer requests for repayment holidays, is participating in the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and is applying to participate in the bounce-back loan scheme for smaller firms.

It said the impact of the pandemic is “difficult to predict with any certainty” as it rapidly evolves.

Metro Bank chief executive Daniel Frumkin said: “Our colleagues have shown incredible commitment to serving our customers and communities in the face of the challenges caused by Covid-19, and we are doing everything we can to meet customer needs through all our channels.

“Despite the unfolding situation, I’m pleased that deposits continued to grow in the first quarter.

“Our ambition to become the UK’s best community bank has never been more important, and we’ve made early progress on the strategic initiatives announced earlier in the year.”

Shares in the company slipped by 3.5% to 83.7p in early trading.