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Metro Bank opens doors in UK

The first truly new retail bank in the UK opened its doors yesterday when US billionaire Vernon Hill launched his vision for the future of UK banking in the shape of Metro Bank. The company will offer retail hours, "unparalleled service" and a range of products which the company believes will be suitable for everybody in the UK. However, it is the pledge that it will take only 15 minutes for customers to open new accounts which has caught the eye of many people.

The Metro Bank is based upon the US equivalent which is the Commerce Bank, an operation which was founded by Mr Hill back in 1973. There's no doubt that the UK banking arena has become somewhat stale and unimaginative, at least on the high street, but whether Metro Bank can inject a long-term breath of fresh air back into the sector remains to be seen.

If there was ever a time to launch a new banking operation in the UK then perhaps this is the time with the main high street banks still suffering from consumer criticism. If Metro Bank is able to place itself "in the middle" of the warring parties then potentially it could take a significant share of the market in the short term. However, holding onto any share of the market in the longer-term will be a challenge!

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