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out to the schools and teach them about money. The fourth week we bring them into the bank, let them have a look and play around, then we give them a gift certificate - we did it in the States with Commerce. Appar- ently it’s pretty much gone out of the British education and banking sys- tems, but it’s been embraced by the schools who believe there’s a need for something like it.” Mr Hill stresses that customer ser-


vice is still his main focus. “Net pro- moter score is the most important way to look at your service and your brand – it’s the percentage of your customers who will recommend you to a friend. Ours is the highest in Brit- ain at 79 percent. The Royal Bank of Scotland is minus 6.” [To get a feel of the Metro Bank


Interview with Vernon W Hill II, the man who built an American bank in Britain


Pictured: Vernon Hill with his wife Shirley, who designs Metro Bank’s branding and store interiors, and Duffy II


deal with us online and mobile. Our mobile app has a cute feature: if you lose your debit or credit card you can deactivate it and when your wife finds it the next morning you can turn your card back on. “If you’re an American moving to


Edinburgh or Manchester, you’ll have the same problems as you would in London. And for paying checks in, we’re about to go to check scan- ning so you can scan it and deposit it electronically – it’s run of the mill in America, it’s about time it came to Britain. We’re about to do a deal with the Post Office too.” “American businesses have the


same problem as individuals. We have corporate arrangements for


companies that are moving Ameri- cans here – we can get their mort- gage approved before they even hit the shores here. Metro Bank was always supposed to be at least half commercial and we’re more than that right now. We also have a private banking business which is growing rapidly - I guess a lot of The American’s readers will fit into that private bank- ing group. Let me tell you a fun story. All the banks in Britain except us have shut down their safe deposit boxes. We can’t build them rapidly enough to keep up with the demand!” In another innovation for the UK,


Metro Bank has started a program called Money Zone, a 4 week pro- gram for kids ages 9 to 12. “We go


experience, and why Vernon Hill pre- fers to compare it to Apple, not other banks, read our 2010 interview at goo.gl/80EoBv - ed] Incidentally, if you’re wonder- ing if the Hill’s dog Duffy is still an important part of the team - Metro Bank is famous for its canine-friendly stores that offer treats and drinks for pooches - the answer is yes, kinda. The original Sir Duffield passed away but another Duffy, grandson of the first, has been appointed as the new Chief Canine Officer. A final question: what’s the best thing about being Vernon Hill? “Let me try a different tack. People ask me ‘You’ve made a lot of money, Vernon, why are you going to all this trou- ble? My reaction is, entrepreneurs entrepreneur! This is what we do. The best thing is, I have the freedom to do whatever I want in a free market environment, whether it’s in America or Britain. I want to thank the Brit- ish public for their support. And for your readers, our message is ‘We love Americans!’”


The American 23


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