After the announcement by Marks & Spencer that they will be opening banks in 50 of their high street stores Metro Bank have said they will be opening a further seven branches in the south east.

The move by Metro Bank, along with those from Marks & Spencer and Tesco represents a step towards greater competition in the banking sector, which experts will hope benefits the consumer.

Metro Bank says they have raised £126 million to fund their growth plans, which will initially include new branches in Reading, Brighton, Hemel Hempstead, Romford, Staines and Epsom. The bank plans to have over 200 branches, which Metro Bank refer to as ‘stores’, by 2020.

Metro Bank chief executive Craig Donaldson said: “We are pleased that our new and existing shareholders continue to support the revolution in British banking.

The capital raise will further strengthen our growth plans and build on our firm foundation.

“The demand for this share placement reflects Metro Bank’s unprecedented success in the market. We have ambitious expansion plans, and customer reaction to the Metro Bank model means that we are confident in achieving our ambitions.”

Metro Bank

Metro Bank opened their first branch in 2010 and was the first new entrant to high street banking in a century.

The bank is still small compared to its larger rivals, although it has attracted 80,000 customers since launch.

Metro Bank offer a range of personal and business current accounts as well as savings accounts, including an Instant Access Cash ISA. The bank position themselves differently to most other banks with less formalised banking and longer opening hours, which includes weekends.

Changes to high street banking

The government are keen to see a shakeup in high street banking to promote increased competition. Financial experts believe that the moves by Metro Bank, M&S and Tesco, amongst others, will help to give consumers more choice and greater flexibility.