Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Metro Bank aims for market share

Remember Metro Bank's 2010 debut? It's a built-from-the-floor-up, new kind of bank that offers convenient hours and customer-friendly services to UK customers. But gaining market share with so many strong, entrenched competitors is a big (and expensive) challenge.

In three years of operation, Metro Bank has spent £100 million readying info systems, hiring employees and opening high-street branches month after month. The marketing plan emphasises new customer acquisition. In fact, its customer base is growing at a double-digit rate, a good indicator of progress.

A key element is the colourful storefront branches, which are open every day of the week. The bank is also introducing drive-through teller service, a point of differentiation that demonstrates its commitment to customer convenience. 'Dogs rule' is another point of differentiation: free water and dog treats are available at each branch.

In 2010, Metro Bank set a five-year goal of having 60 branches open around the country. Now, in the middle of 2013, it's approaching 20 branches and expects to have a total of 25 by yearend. Still, having dozens of branches or even a few hundred might not be enough to mount a serious challenge to the thousands of branches operated by the big high-street banks.

You can follow Metro Bank on Twitter or check out its website.