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Metro Bank London…From Zero to $5.7 Billion in 4½ Years

Metro Bank PLC was granted its license by the Financial Services Authority on March 5th, 2010, the first high-street bank to be granted such a license for over 150 years. Its first branch opened on July 29, 2010 in Holborn, followed by Earl’s Court (Cromwell Road) on September 3, 2010. Metro Bank opened its 32nd branch on January 30th, 2015 in Cambridge.

Vernon Hill is the most customer driven banker in the world and the most successful. He took the principles that worked at Commerce Bank in the U.S. and put them into action in London. His secret….he created a service strategy.

Metro Bank London spends NO MONEY ON ADVERTISING. The focus is word-of-mouth. All based on an awesome customer experience. Their call center is open 24/7. I called them on Easter and the phone was answered at 8:30 am without even a ring. How many banks in the world could do this or would even be interested. They had 10 people in their call center taking care of customers on Easter Sunday morning. Try them out. 44- 20-3402-8312

The stores are open from 8 AM to 8 PM Monday to Friday and 8 AM to 6 PM Saturday and Sunday 11 AM to 4 PM. They close 4 days a year. They are open 78 hours a week because as Vernon Hill says, “That’s because we are in the account opening business, which means taking business away from the competition.”

Customers are able to bank with Metro, how and when they want. The stores open 10 minutes early and close 10 minutes late. You can work with them through 4 channels, In-store, Mobile, online or phone.

Vernon Hill selects the locations. Always a corner. Always in a high traffic area. 

Vernon’s wife, Shirley does the design for the building and every element in the store. Both brilliant individuals. Maybe the smartest couple in the world.

In addition to traditional banking services, the bank offers non-traditional services, including:

  • quoting a time of 15 minutes to open an account at a Metro branch
  • a “pet-friendly” policy at branches, such as free dog biscuits and water for customers’ dogs, of which Hill said, “Customers think that if we take care of their dogs then we will also take care of them.” The company offers a refund to customers who rehome a pet from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and is the official banking partner of The Kennel Club. Metro Bank also won the Kennel Club’s Open for Dogs Competition 2011.
  • coin counting machines for customers to sort and deposit change
  • when joining a new community, between 25 and 30 new career opportunities for local people are created so they understand the area, people and businesses that they serve.
  • They go to schools and introduce Metro Bank and give away all sorts of gifts. Genius marketing from the children to the parents….. all opening accounts at Metro Bank.


With new accounts a regular bank is lucky to add 20 per month per bank. Commerce Bank in the U.S. did 300 a month. Metro Bank is doing 625 a month per location. They are adding a whopping 20,000 accounts a month. In 2014 assets grew 94% to $5.7 billion. Deposits grew 118% to $5.4 billion.

I believe most executives do not understand the service strategy. They do not realize how money falls from the sky like snowflakes. It takes a lot of effort. It takes a relentless commitment from top management. It means you’re creating a service culture. The results are… huge increases in revenue!

Apple last quarter ending December 27, 2014 had sales of $74.6 billion and profit of $18 billion. Most firms just can’t handle this type of revenue.

Jeff Bezos at Amazon is now the 15th richest person in the world with a net worth of $34.8 billion. (Maybe it’s too much money for most CEO’s. They just don’t understand the power of delivering great service. Or maybe it’s too much work). Sales last year at Amazon increased 20% to $88.99 billion. They are rated number one in the world for customer service.

“I will repeat myself….how do they do it? They created a service strategy”.

John Tschohl
Service Quality Institute
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55420
Office 952-884-3311
Cell 612-382-5636

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