Metro Bank repeats £1bn net lending pledge

By Ryan Weeks on Wednesday 28 February 2018

Digital Banking

The news comes after the bank fulfilled the same pledge in 2017.

Leading challenger bank Metro has pledged to ring-fence £1bn for lending to UK businesses in 2018. The bank made, and made good on, the same promise last year, ultimately lending £1.1bn.

Metro Bank became the first new bank to hit UK high streets in over 100 years when it won its licence in 2010. Its approach to lending is to avoid a “computer says no” attitude, and its credit teams will generally try to get to know the people behind a prospective business borrower.

Generally speaking, Metro’s proposition is built around convenience. Its branches are famously open to customers seven days a week. Balancing that branch network with technology, Metro tries to strike a balance between incumbent bank strategy and the new world of app-based neo-banking.

Its CEO Craig Donaldson has previously spoken of the importance of the integration of technology and physical infrastructure as paramount.

Commenting on Metro's renewed lending commitment, Donaldson said that 80 per cent of businesses remain “underserved and undervalued” by the big five banks.

“They deserve far better service than they currently receive,” he continued. “With the business landscape rapidly changing, unlocking opportunity for growth and innovation, more than ever before, businesses need to know that their lender is on their side, supporting them at every step.”

The £1bn figure being touted by Metro Bank relates to net lending, not gross lending. For context, leading business lending platform Funding Circle accounted for £1.26bn of gross lending in 2017.

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