Challenger bank hits one million accounts

By Ryan Weeks on Wednesday 3 May 2017

Alternative LendingDigital Banking

Metro Bank surpasses one million customer accounts less than seven years removed from launch.

Metro Bank, which became the first new high street bank in the UK for over one hundred years in 2010, now has more than a million customer accounts. The milestone was reached, fittingly, on the bank holiday Monday, when the majority of incumbent banks are closed.

In its short lifespan, Metro Bank has won over customers in their droves with a service which is designed to strip the pain out of banking.

Its many tweaks to the traditional high street banking model include being open for longer (including over the weekend and on bank holidays), printing cards in-store, and offering temporary blocking on cards. Some stats from the last seven years include: being open 75 per cent longer than the average bank, saving customers over 4 million days by printing over 1 million cards instantly in-store, and preventing over 20,000 cards from being cancelled unnecessarily.

“Less than seven years in, we’re proving that UK banking is ripe for disruption and showing just what can be done with the right model and culture,” said Craig Donaldson (pictured), CEO of Metro Bank.

Speaking at the Economist’s Finance Disrupted event in January, Donaldson suggested that Metro Bank, which currently has 48 branches across the country, will need 250 to achieve full UK coverage. He also said that the integration of technology and physical infrastructure is the key to providing greater choice to customers.

It will be interesting to see whether this philosophy rings true, with a wave of digital-only challengers – such as Monzo, Starling Bank and Atom Bank – now looming into view. 

Sign up for our newsletters

Your daily 7am download of all things alternative finance and fintech.

Fintech and alternative finance headlines with an exclusive Editor's Note each week. Delivered Monday at midday.

AltFi's new weekly US newsletter breaking down the ins and outs of America's burgeoning fintech sector. Delivered Monday 9am EST/ 6am PST.

Companies in this Article:

Starling Bank
Metro Bank
Atom Bank

More like this:

The AltFi Awards 2022: Here are the winners!

Editor's Pick

2 December 2022
Oliver Smith

Curve and Credit Suisse ink $1bn deal to expand BNPL products

Editor's Pick

7 December 2022
Daniel Lanyon

Allica Bank raises £100m Series C

5 December 2022
Daniel Lanyon

Kroo launches 2% interest current account

5 December 2022
Amelia Isaacs