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Metro Bank launches today

I popped down to the launch party for Metro Bank last night, as the bank opens its doors for business this morning.

Having previously blogged about the bank a bit and their challenges, to get off the ground is impressive.

The bank was under wraps on arrival … 

Metro Bank 0

… but, as the Chairman and Chief Executive made their welcoming statements, the branch was unwrapped ready to launch this morning.

Metro Bank 4

It turns out that it’s launching with big support from the BBC, who will be broadcasting Breakfast exclusively form the new Metro branch. That’s a coup.

Equally, it’s a coup that attendees at the launch included major influential pundits Robert Peston and Meredith Whitney.

Other folks amongst the launch party cocktails were Jim McCormick (Investor) and Gene Lockhart (non-executive Director), who are both investors in the new bank with Vernon Hill, as well as Anthony Thomson (the bank's Chairman) and his dad (William), who I happened to capture in a candid picture with Metro man …

Metro Bank 2

… this bank is different.

It's so different that their launch is marked by the opening speech giving £1,000 ($1,500) to a charity (Centrepoint).

This bank is very different.

On leaving, I got my gift of the Metro mug and pen …

Metro Bank 3

Particularly intriguing is the left-handed mug, but then most Brits have been taken for mugs over the past decades so, having a bank that's different is very welcome.

So here’s to Britain’s first new major retail bank launch.

We wish you well.

Metro Bank's team of UK Executives:

  • Craig Donaldson, Chief Executive Officer, formerly Managing Director of Retail Banking at Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Paul Marriott-Clarke, Managing Director, Retail Banking, formerly Managing Director, Network South, Retail, HBOS
  • Darren Schindler, Managing Director, Commercial Banking, formerly CEO, Oak Capital Group
  • Aisling Kane, Chief Operations Officer, formerly Director of UK Operations at Anglo Irish Bank
  • Mike Brierley, Chief Financial Officer, formerly Director, Business Risk at Barclaycard

Its non-executive directors are:

  • Howard Flight, Founder of Guinness Flight Asset Management
  • Eugene Lockhart, former CEO of Midland Bank and MasterCard International and former President, Global Retail Banking at Bank of America
  • Stuart Bernau, former Retail Director at Nationwide Building Society
  • Ben Gunn, former Chief Executive of Friends Provident Life & Pensions
  • Keith Carby, Co-founder of J. Rothschild Assurance
  • Anthony Thomson, Chairman, Financial Services Forum
  • Vernon Hill, Founder of Commerce Bank

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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  • Metro seem to want to distinguish themselves from other UK banks based on their customers services, but it doesn’t seem to be offering much besides being open 7 days a week at just a few places in central London. What about offering SMS alerts about balances or online banking?

  • I don’t think they intend it to be a left-handed mug. It’s more likely that they want the bank name and logo to be in front when you’re drinking with your right hand 🙂

  • Chris Skinner

    That’s the point I was making Shrikant. The name and logo are only visible when drinking with your LEFT hand!

  • I think they want others to see where you keep your money 😉

  • Mark Piper VP UK IE EMEA FRSGlobal

    Surely they want you to advertise their presence to others, hence the decision to have their logo facing out when you are drinking your mug of tea?…if you are right-handed….after all, if you are already in possession of the mug, you are by definition aware of them?….
    Anyway, good luck to them and to Mr Brierley in particular 🙂

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