Metro bank files first annual profit amid lending growth

Metro Bank has reported its first annual profit, driven by a boom in residential mortgages and strong commercial lending.

The so-called challenger bank, which first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2016, said it had made a pre-tax profit of £20.8m during 2017 compared with a £11.7m loss a year earlier.

However, Metro said it was scaling back its plans to open new branches. The bank, which operates across London and the south of England, is now aiming for 100 branches rather than the 110 it had previously intended to open. It would still open 12 branches this year, creating 900 jobs, it said.

The bank emerged out of the financial crisis to open its first branch in Holborn, central London, in 2010. It came with the promise of same-day account opening and seven-day-a-week opening. And while other banks banned dogs, Metro encouraged customers to bring in their hounds with the promise of free dog biscuits.

Since 2010 Metro has grown steadily to the extent that last year the company’s lending rose 64% to £9.6bn.