Metro Bank is going through a challenging period, and tough times require tough measures, as reports suggest that the bank is making some significant changes.
The BBC outlined that Metro Bank had revealed it has adopted a new strategy to save around £50m a year. To secure this, the company has cut jobs and its opening hours.
It is not yet clear what the opening hours will be as the company is still reviewing this policy, but the bank asserts that for one day a week – although not yet saying which day specifically – its branches will be open between 9:30am and 5:30pm.
The company will also evaluate whether or not it should stay open seven days a week – these changes mark a drastic change in the Bank’s offering, with its USP being that it would be open for longer and more accessible hours.
A Metro Bank statement read: “The company is reviewing seven-day opening and extended store hours across the store network and is in discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority about the customer implications of any such changes.”
Tough times are nothing new for Metro Bank. The company was first set up in 2010 as a ‘challenger’ banking brand on the UK high street, with a focus on commercial banking for the general public.
However, nine years after opening its first of 76 locations in Central London, with branches now spread throughout the country, the Bank hit its first major hurdle in the form of a regulatory challenge.
A miscalculation saw a portfolio of commercial loans classified incorrectly, which in turn led to a fine of £5.37m issued by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in 2021 due to the bank failing to meet mandatory regulatory reporting requirements.
Although recording strong upticks in customer numbers throughout its 13 year operating history, the bank has faced consistent hurdles affecting its growth, made worse by the economic conditions of recent years.
In October, Metro Bank revealed £325m in extra funding from investors in October, and earlier this week media reports indicated that stakeholders had voted in favour of a £925m rescue deal.
Recent revelations do not look promising for the bank, however, and job losses are rarely a positive headline. According to the BBC, the bank will axe 850 jobs out of 4,266, including ‘at senior leadership level’.
Whether or not the bank ultimately collapses, is able to mount a bounceback for recovery or is acquired – negotiations with prospective buyers have occurred in the past – will become clearer over the coming months or even years.