Metro Bank to end seven-day trading in branches

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Woman using Metro Bank ATMImage source, Getty Images

Metro Bank is to end seven-day trading in all its branches and cut about 1,000 jobs after reporting huge losses.

From 29 March, all 76 branches will close on Sundays and Bank Holidays, with more than half of them closing on Saturdays as well.

The lender also said it would cut 22% of its workforce by mid-April as part of a huge cost-cutting exercise.

The struggling High Street bank began a review of operations last autumn in an effort to save about £50m a year.

But on Wednesday Metro Bank said it was looking to cut another £30m by the end of 2024, which would lead to further job losses.

Chief executive David Frumkin said not all the additional cost savings would come from more job losses, but said “inevitably some will have to come from colleague costs”.

Mr Frumkin said even though branches would no longer be open every day Metro Bank would “still be open more hours than other competitors on the High Street”.

It does not intend to close any branches and has plans to open about 11 more branches, mainly in the North of England.

The changes come as part of an overhaul, confirmed as the struggling lender reported a £16.9m underlying loss for 2023 – although this was less than the £50.6m seen the year before.

It was launched in the wake of the financial crisis and was the first High Street bank to open in the UK in more than 100 years.

Its founder, American businessman Vernon Hill, said at the time that he wanted to do things differently so the bank offered customer-friendly perks, even putting out water bowls and dog biscuits for customers’ pets.

But following a review launched last November, the group has now said that the bulk of its branches, 44 sites, will only be open five days a week, from Monday to Friday, 09:30 to 17:00.

The remaining 32 stores will be open six days a week, from 09:30 to 17:00 on Monday to Friday, and 11:00 to 16:00 on Saturdays.

At present Metro Bank branches open from 08:30 until 18:00 from Monday to Saturday and 11:00 to 17:00 on Sunday.