Metro Bank to review seven-day opening

Metro Bank will review its opening hours and cut 20% of its workforce as part of a wide-ranging cost reduction plan.

Since its launch in 2010, the challenger bank has offered extended opening hours with branches open seven days a week and in the evenings.

However, it has struggled to recover from an accounting scandal in 2019 and its share price has fallen by more than 98% over the last five years.

Earlier this week Metro Bank received shareholder approval for a £925m refinancing and recapitalisation plan. It is also in talks to sell its residential mortgage book, valued at £3bn.

After announcing a £30m cost-cutting plan last month, the bank now says it has identified potential cost savings of up to £50m per year.

“The company is reviewing seven-day opening and extended store hours across the store network and is in discussions with the FCA about the customer implications of any such changes,” Metro Bank said in a stock exchange announcement.

The bank aims to transition to a more cost-efficient business model, investing in automation and its improving digital channels, particularly for deposits. It also plans to simplify its operations and streamline lending to focus on relationship banking and maximise risk-adjusted returns on regulatory capital.

Taken together, these actions are expected to result in a 20% reduction in staff numbers.

Metro Bank has 2.8 million customers and operates 76 branches in England and Wales. The job cuts would affect around 800 employees.