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Vernon Hill is banking on face-to-face appeal

Speaking last week at an evening lecture given at Cass Business School in London, the co-founder of Metro Bank and chairman said he believed in the model of the walk-in, “free pens for everybody” bank.

He said: “This has been called old-fashioned, especially at a time when other banks are closing branches and moving online. But there is a place for face-to-face banking, and the people who are moving their money to us are proving that.”

Places earmarked by Mr Hill for Metro Bank branches include Brighton, Sevenoaks, Wimbledon, Cambridge, Chelmsford and Harrow.

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According to US-born Mr Hill, he plans to have 154 stores open in the UK by 2020. The bank currently has now got £0.5bn worth of lending and more than £1bn in deposits.

He said: “Human beings answer every call in Britain. We had an original motto: ‘Love your bank at last.’ We want to make it a nice place, a place where people can bring their dogs in, where there is free coin counting, safe deposit boxes, seven-day opening.”

Background

Mr Hill founded Metro Bank in the UK in 2007, along with Anthony Thomson, who resigned as chairman in September 2012.

It has since hired 1000 employees, half of whom were recruited in 2013 when the number of Metro Banks in the capital rose by 60 per cent to 24.

When asked whether the Metro Bank model would be popular, he said: “There is no one-size-fits-all solution. It is a successful business model but the world has moved on digitally and technically since 2007.”