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14

RETAILER SPOTLIGHT

Breaking the mould

M

A new high street bank is promising to shake up Britain’s retail banking system

etro Bank, Britain’s first high street bank to be granted a full-service banking license in more than 150 years, has started putting together its branch network with four

acquisitions in London.

The new bank has a medium-term target of 200 branches

across the UK, and the newest acquisitions in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire and Fulham Broadway, West London join two made late last year in Holborn and Earls Court in central London. Metro Bank promises a more customer-friendly approach to

banking, and a network of prominent, easily accessible branches are part of this strategy. The first sites have been chosen for their prominent corner locations which will offer local customers convenience in accessing their local bank. Metro promises the ultimate in account opening convenience,

with a rapid opening procedure and instant issuance of permanent debit and credit cards within 15 minutes; free coin counting at every store, for customers and non-customers alike; and a friendly

Metro Bank

Metro Bank was co-founded by Vernon Hill and Anthony Thomson. It is based on the successful Commerce Bank model that was established by Vernon Hill in the US in 1973. A UK management team has worked with Vernon Hill to help bring this model to the UK market and to gain the necessary licenses. Metro Bank is wholly independent and is not affiliated with any other

bank or organisation anywhere in the world. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme established under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Metro Bank will be the only UK High Street bank that will have met the

new capital and liquidity requirements imposed by the FSA. It is funded by private and institutional investors and does not require wholesale funding.

SHOPPING CENTRE April 2010 www.shopping-centre.co.uk

welcome to dogs and their owners, with water bowls and dog biscuits on hand for man’s best friend. The sites in Borehamwood and Fulham have ground floors of

between 3,000 and 4,000 sq ft, fully glazed shopfronts, high ceilings and well lit prominent signage and branding. As with all Metro Bank stores, they will be open seven days a week, 8am - 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm Saturday and 11am - 4pm Sunday. The store in Borehamwood is located on the Borehamwood Shopping Park close to the mainline train station. Adjacent retailers include Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Boots the Chemist, Next, WH Smith, New Look and HSBC. The premises have been acquired on a 15-year lease at a commencing rent of £230,000 pax. In Fulham, Metro Bank will replace the old Borders bookshop at

the front of the mall leading to the Fulham Broadway underground station. Other retailers in the mall include Sainsbury’s and Boots the Chemist. This store has been acquired on a 15-year lease at a commencing rent of £320,000 pax. Knight Frank has been retained as property advisor to Metro Bank with a brief to acquire 20 stores across Central and Greater London in the next two years and more than 200 stores during the decade. Calum Ewing, partner at Knight Frank retail, commented:

“Following a referral from Newmark Knight Frank we have spent the last two years advising Metro Bank on their real estate strategy. We are really excited to be so close to seeing the first London stores for Metro Bank open, helping bringing unparalleled levels of banking service and convenience to London. Metro Bank is going to be very acquisitive over the next years and we want to know about every great retail site across London for future great Metro Bank stores.”

Find out more:

For more information, please contact the author or visit the website:

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