Metro Bank on verge of making its first profits

Tim Wallace
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METRO Bank should be profitable within the next year, chief executive Craig Donaldson said yesterday, as the bank unveiled its latest set of losses.

The challenger bank lost £9.8m in the second quarter of the year, an improvement on the £10.6m loss in the previous three-month period.

It has defended its losses by arguing that it was spending heavily on new branches. Metro now has 27 stores, mainly in and around London, and is setting up another six currently.

The number of customer accounts surged from just over 200,000 a year ago to 359,000 at the end of June.

Lending volumes shot up to £1.16bn, a jump of 216 per cent on the year.

And deposit levels also in­creased shar­p­ly, rocketing 125 per cent on the year to £1.96bn.

More than half of those deposits are now from businesses, and almost half of Metro’s loan book is taken up by commercial lending.

The Competition and Markets Auth­ority this week said challenger banks were not yet having a serious effect on competition in the banking market.

But Donaldson disputed this, insisting Metro was making progress.

“In the communities we serve, we are taking on the big players – wherever we have a store, we are seen as a big player,” he said, noting the bank’s target of 200 branches by 2020. “We are a small organisation with big capabilities so we can carry on grow­ing. I am quite chuffed with it so far – we have grown our staff to 1,500 now.”

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