When it launched in 2010, Metro Bank was the first high street lender to open its doors in the UK for 100 years.
With its lengthy seven-day-a-week opening times and dog friendly approach, Metro Bank aimed to offer customers – or as it calls them, ‘FANS’, a different banking experience.
Fast forward to 2017 and Metro Bank has seen its customer base rise by 72,000 to 987,000 and enjoyed a 13 per cent growth in deposits to £9billion in the last quarter.
In contrast to the challenger bank’s success, Spanish high-street staple Santander has seen its UK profits fall 8 per cent to £354.5million.
Different: Metro Bank has lengthy seven-day-a-week opening times and dog friendly approach
In the last quarter, Metro Bank’s underlying pre-tax profits increased from £1.5million to £2million.
The bank said it was confident about delivering a full year of profitability this year and achieve its 2020 guidance.
Vernon Hill, Metro Bank’s founder and chairman, said: ‘What a superb start to the year for Metro Bank.
‘Our combination of great online and mobile banking and an exceptional in-store experience is making a positive difference to our customers.
‘Metro Bank remains a revolution in British banking, championing the right of every customer to receive service and convenience tailored to their needs.’
Confident of being able to reach the 1million customer mark soon, chief executive Craig Donaldson, said reaching that number of customers would make Metro Bank a ‘proper player’ in the banking sector.
Challenger profits: n the last quarter, Metro Bank’s underlying pre-tax profits increased from £1.5million to £2million
The bank, which has water bowls and biscuits for dogs available at each of its sites, currently aims to increase its branch network to 100 by 2020. This year, the bank plans to open 10 new stores.
Unlike many other banks, Metro Bank is open seven days a week, with longer opening times during the week.
Metro Bank’s growing presence on the high street bucks the trend for branch closures up and down the country.
In the last year, hundreds of bank and building society branches have been closed down, with most lenders blaming the rising tide of online banking.
Shares in Metro Bank are down 1.31 per cent to 3,529.00p.
Opening up: Metro Bank’s growing presence on the high street bucks the trend for branch closures up and down the country
While challenger firm Metro Bank appears to be sampling success on the high street, long-established Santander is starting to stumble.
Santander’s Spanish owner Banco Santander reported an 8 per cent drop in quarterly UK profits to £354.5million.
The lender warned of a ‘changeable and potentially more challenging’ economic outlook amid sterling’s depreciation since June’s Brexit vote.
In Santander’s UK arm, reported profits were 1 per cent lower at £525million for the first three months of 2017, taking into account a £32million charge to cover PPI claims.
Having withdrawn some of its most competitive rates at the end of last year, Santander saw its mortgage lending fall by £400million in the last quarter.
The bank has also lost some customers after it dropped the rate of its popular 123 current account and upped its monthly fee to £5. But, the bank said that in the last quarter, the number of 123 current account customers has increased.
Nathan Bostock, the group’s chief executive, said: ‘Looking ahead, we anticipate a changeable and potentially more challenging macro environment.’
Profit dip: Santander’s Spanish owner Banco Santander reported an 8 per cent drop in quarterly UK profits