Metro Bank racks up losses

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Steep losses for new-kid-on-the-block Metro Bank. The US operator has absorbed a £23.4m pre-tax trading loss since it arrived in the UK due to investment spending. So far Metro have four central London branches and plan to open a further eight across the capital. They've also been hindered by a lack of internet banking - until now.


Dog-friendly

Metro Bank prides itself on its customer-friendly service and efficiency. You can take your dog into the bank without hassle. How many banks put out water bowls and dog biscuits? Or is open from 8am to 8pm? This one is.

It also claims ethical stripes, promising not to borrow or invest any more cash than what it receives in customer deposits. Despite the friendly face, Metro Bank can't compete on the best savings rates, denied the clout and economies of scale the big players have.

Metro Bank is also increasingly looking at the SME market, given that some banks are still being too tight with lending. Its talk is of community based banking. Which has a certain positive ring to it, you must admit.

Enough interest?

Metro Bank clearly wants to be loved. More customer-friendly banks are also planned, Virgin, for example, for the UK high street. Yes, consumers want more information on overdrafts and charges and decent customer service, which is where new entrants will claim to score.

But consumers also like a bank to pay them a decent whack on their savings. How far will good service and dog biscuits get you?

We'll know in a year's time.

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