by Mark Johnston
The Metro Bank!
Metro Bank is Britain’s first new High Street bank to have successfully navigated the regulatory processes to launch in more than 100 years. Metro Bank started with four stores in 2010 in Holborn, Earl’s Court, Fulham and Borehamwood and now has 19 stores across Greater London.
The bank continues its rapid expansion with the aim of having 200 plus stores by 2020.
Craig Donaldson, Chief Executive officer of Metro Bank, states “The banking market is under significant scrutiny, and now is the time for decisive action to create a market that works better for both customers and British business. A competitive market will only be achieved when new and existing banks face a level playing field; where it is the offering and proposition of the bank that leads to differentiation.”
A spokesperson for the bank added “The British people have demanded a revolution in banking, including a focus on service, the end of stupid bank rules and ultimate convenience. Metro Bank is here to provide this choice.
It then seems that the Metro Bank is committed to offering the best in service and convenience to its customers.
On its launch the bank promised to let people open a full account with debit and credit cards in just 15 minutes and that its branches will be open every day, including Sundays, apart from four public holidays a year.
Metro Bank offers Conventional and Jumbo Fixed Rate Loans with immediate approval and streamlined documentation guidelines.
However analysts said that the mortgage and savings products being launched were not yet competitive enough to enter the best buy tables.
On the mortgage front the bank originally offered fixed and variable rate products up to 80 per cent loan to value (LTV) which had a two year variable rate mortgage at 3.5 per cent, a two year fixed product at 4 per cent and a three year fixed rate at 4.5 per cent up to 60 per cent loan to value (LTV).
For products above 60 per cent loan to value (LTV) the bank said it would increase rates by 1 per cent, for example its 80 per cent two year fixed rate product had a rate of 5 per cent.
Michelle Slade, of financial information service Moneyfacts, suggested that “Although they are offering all these other benefits, such as longer opening hours, one of the main things for people is a competitive interest rate”.
This said since June 2012, figures show that the bank increased its lending by 219 per cent.
It is worth noting that the bank underwrites all applications on an individual basis to ensure that customers’ personal circumstances are always taken into account.
InJuly this year the Metro bank announced a refresh of its large loan residential mortgage range .
At 65 per cent loan to value (LTV), Metro Bank residential mortgage customers can secure loans from £1.5 million to £3 million with rates starting at 2.79 per cent for a 2 year Tracker mortgage.
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