Metro Bank axing 20% of its workforce and ‘reviewing’ seven day branch opening hours

  • Metro Bank cutting 20% of workforce and ‘reviewing’ 24/7 opening hours
  • Metro Bank still seeking sites for new stores in the north of England 

Metro Bank is axing 20 per cent of its workforce in a bid to cut costs, days after its investors backed a £925million rescue package. 

The group is also ‘reviewing’ seven day opening and extended hours across its branch network.

The lender said it had identified potential cost savings of up to £50million per year and the plan to slash costs is expected to be completed during the first quarter of next year. 

Job losses: Metro bank is axing 20% of its workforce in a bid to cut costs

Metro Bank did not confirm the exact number of job losses, but the lender employs around 4,000 people, according to its latest annual report. Hundreds of jobs are expected to be axed.

The group said it remained ‘committed’ to branches, but would bolster its digital services and use of automation.

It said: ‘Whilst the Company remains committed to stores and the high street, it will transition to a more cost-efficient business model, investing in automation for service and back-office operations and improving digital channels, particularly for deposits. 

‘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. 

‘The Company continues to seek sites in the North of England for new stores as previously communicated.’

Metro Bank also plans to ‘selectively streamline lending’ to focus on ‘relationship banking to maximise risk-adjusted returns.’

Daniel Frumkin, Metro Bank’s chief executive, said: ‘The support shown from our investors through this transaction will allow Metro Bank to accelerate its growth plans, with the new capital allowing us to unlock the potential in the business and deliver sustainable profitable returns as we strive to be the number one community bank.

‘We remain committed to stores and the high street but will transition to a more cost-efficient business model while remaining focused on customer service. 

‘These actions alongside other initiatives to reduce costs are expected to deliver savings of up to £50’million per year on an annualised basis.’

Metro Bank shares rose 2.77 per cent or 1.07p to 39.67p on Thursday morning, having slumped over 58 per cent in the last year. 

This week, Metro Bank received shareholder approval for a £925million refinancing and recapitalisation plan, backed by Colombian billionaire, Jaime Gilinski, who has become the firm’s biggest investor.