UK’s Metro Bank Triples Business Lending
Metro Bank, which launched into the UK retail banking sector in 2010, more than tripled its lending to businesses last year.
The bank’s business lending, which focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lent £97.5m to British companies in 2012 compared with £32.3m earlier. The sums are modest compared to the lending figures of the UK’s ‘Big Four’ of Barclays, HSBC, RBS and Lloyds, but contrast with the reduction in lending by the major banking groups.
Metro’s expansion has focused on London and southeast England. The bank, which will open its 19th branch this month and aims for a total of 200 by 2020, also wants to list on the London stock market as early as next year.
Metro Bank’s founder and former chairman, Anthony Thomson, said: “I believe there is a real opportunity for the creation of new banks that can serve the needs of individuals, communities and businesses. I think we will see between five and 15 new [UK] banks over the next three to five years.”