Financial sharks circling Metro Bank
I agree with many of the comments underneath that article. Metro is described as a “challenger bank”, but its business model is pretty conventional and not sufficiently different from existing banks. The commitment to branches in particular keeps their cost base high as branches are expensive to run. So I am not really surprised that some people may be betting on it failing.
Mobile Only banks on the other hand, by not operating branches, keep their cost bases low.
Metro is in an odd position, really.
It seems the tide is really turning towards the fintech approach (and I’m not just talking about us, and not even just banks - lots of folks are happy primarily using e-money licensed apps)
And we’re so clearly a different approach to your traditional high st banks.
Metro sort of seems somewhere in the middle. Much newer than the other branch-based banks, but as @Techno says, still quite conventional in approach as well.
Yeah, it’s like they launched 10-20 years too late. By the time they’re reaching critical mass (and only in one region), the world has moved on. What they do would have been innovative in the 90s.
It’s a not particularly innovative bank that has longer opening hours. So what?
Its one USP was to be able to walk out of the branch with a working debit card, but now I can open an account with a Starling or Monzo in the supermarket and have a working debit card, on Google or Apple Pay, by the time I reach the checkout. So, what now Metro?
and having a Magic Money Machine!
It’s two USPs are being able to walk of the branch with a working debit card, having a Magic Money Machine, and… um. I’ll get my coat.
My local NatWest, Barclays and Sainsbury’s each have a coin counting machine. Nothing unique about that.
The Sainsburys machine takes a cut of your money for the service, and neither of them gamify the experience in the same way as the Metro machine (as I understand it).
I think Natwest machines post-date Metro ones, so perhaps one could argue that it was once a fully unique selling point but Metro have failed to continue to evolve as some trad banks have caught up?
(Incidentally, I have to use a Natwest money machine for business banking and it’s a POS. I cannot ever trust it will accurately count my 5p coins )