Tuesday 17 January 2017 12:01 am

Metro Bank gets down to business, planning to increase its number of in-store managers by around a third

I'm a reporter at City A.M., mainly covering law, professional services and banking

I'm a reporter at City A.M., mainly covering law, professional services and banking

Business banking is booming for Metro Bank, so much so that the challenger plans to increase the number of business bankers in its branches by around a third, or 30 per cent, in 2017.

The bank, which opened its first branch in 2010, recently announced it was putting £1bn to one side to support business customers this year.

Metro currently has at least one local business manager in each of its high street branches, or stores as it calls them, although areas with a large number of commercial customers already have multiple business managers. 

Read more: Metro Bank allows customers to choose Mx prefix instead of Mr or Mrs

City A.M. understands the 16 new business bankers will be made up of a combination of new hires and internal promotions. 

"For years now, businesses have been underserved by banks and over time this has chipped away at their relationship, exacerbated by unremitting cost-cutting measures," said Ian Walters, managing director business banking at Metro Bank. "There's enough obstacles to overcome as a business-owner, your bank shouldn’t be one of them."

Read more: Dogs still rule at Metro Bank as it eyes profitability

In its most recent quarterly results, the challenger revealed its lending levels had increased 73 per cent year-on-year to £5.2bn, while loans to business and commercial customers represent 35 per cent of the bank's total lending. 

Late last year, Metro Bank announced it was joining forces with the Post Office, with the postie opening the doors of its branches to the challenger's business customers to deposit cheques and cash and pick up change.