I've been blogging for a while about Vernon Hill's new bank. Vernon created Commerce Bank in the USA, which revolutionised retail banking there. He's now got the green light to launch Metro Bank in the UK.
The aim is to launch on February 15th, which is why the flagship branch in Holborn has this wrapping:
Can't see it? Look closer …
"Love your bank" … that's a different sentiment to marketing a bank these days and, bearing in mind that February 15th is the day after Valentine's Day, you can see the logic of launching then.
The new branch is one of four Metro will open in London, and will have the usual Vernon magical elements including the massive change machines in the front of branch.
In fact, expect many of the Commerce Bank style innovations at Metro Bank.
This has been a long time in the making, as I first heard about it back in summer 2008. The challenge has been to get the banking licence, and the FSA plays hardball on this stuff. They've been particularly stringent on Metro Bank's choice of management team and non-executives, but they appear to finally have it sorted out and approved.
Oh yes, and in case you're wondering, they are using core software from Temenos (Tesco has gone with Fiserv).
All good stuff and watch that space.
New bank Metro just wants to be loved – Guardian