Metro Bank readies launch

Metro Bank is expected to open its doors early next year after reports the City watchdog is close to approving its launch.

The Financial Services Authority is understood to be close to granting approval that would pave the way for the bank to open two flagship branches in London, the first start-up bank in a century.

Metro Bank is being setup by Financial Services Forum chief executive Anthony Thomson and Commerce Bank founder Vernon Hill.

According to reports, Hill will take the role of non-executive chairman and Thomson will be vice-chairman. It is believed the bank has raised £75m to fund its plans.

It is understood the bank, which is currently using the strapline “love your bank”, aims to distinguish itself from high-street rivals by opening longer and on weekends, as well as on the quality of its customer service.

It has been previously reported that Metro aims to open 220 branches within a decade and is also considering launching fee-based current accounts in a bid to make sure its charges are “transparent”.

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