Wednesday 18 June 2014 10:59 am

Metro Bank's Vernon Hill slams failed banking system at London liberty conference

Founder of Metro Bank Vernon Hill has criticised the UK's banking sector for failing consumers and lacking innovation at a conference held by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS).

Speaking In London's Guild Hall, Hill told a packed audience that the current banking system had failed society and was taking customers for granted.

The boss of Britain's first new bank in over 100 years also had harsh words for the Bank of England's quantitative easing programme.

"QE is lets print unlimited money and call it something else."

"We can't money forever and not expect the wrath of rising rates", said Hill.

The Metro Bank chairman featured on a star studded panel, which included former Reagan tax guru Arthur Laffer, economic historian Deidre McCloskey, and economist Deepak Lal. The panel focused on issues such as the threat posed by both big government and big corporations.

Answering what was the role of government in the economy, Arthur Laffer responded, "Low rate, flat tax, minimal spending, sound money, then get the hell out of the way of the market". Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the CPS Margaret Thatcher Conference on Liberty played host to some of the world's most famous academics and politicians.

Professor Niall Ferguson was joined Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, amongst others, for a panel discussion on whether Western foreign policy had gone soft. Ferguson told the audience that US President Barack Obama was the "wobbliest President of modern times."

Australian prime minister John Howard, who was welcomed with rapturous applause, criticised President Obama's foreign policy stance, saying the administration was "disappointingly complacent" on Islamic extremism.

Back in May, Metro Bank saw commercial loans surge to £960m, a year-on-year increase of 298 per cent and a rise of 27 per cent in the quarter to 31 March.

The insurgent bank, which was established in 2010, also saw deposits rise to £1.6bn, a 131 per cent increase from the previous year. Metro Bank boasts over 318,000 customer accounts and 26 stores, with Hill vowing to transform British banking.

A further eight stores are planned for 2014, with locations including Milton Keynes and Cambridge.