Seven-days-a-week Metro Bank plans razzmatazz launch

AMERICAN lender Metro Bank has named the date for opening its first British branch.

The company will launch its outlet at Holborn, in London, on 29 July, promising seven-day opening and hours of business that will be "twice as long as other banks".

Metro claimed it is the "first UK high street bank to launch since the 19th century" and promised stilt walkers, musicians, jugglers and face painters as part of its three-day opening celebrations.

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The bank will also give away breakfasts, smoothies, popcorn and Oyster Card holders to its customers.

The Holborn launch will be followed a week later with a branch opening in London's Earl's Court.

Anthony Thomson, co-founder and chairman of Metro Bank, said: "We have been preparing for this day for a long time and are delighted it's finally here. We plan to offer our customers a great retail experience, and we want to make banking fun for everyone."

Thomson and co-founder Vernon Hill will be joined by chief executive Craig Donaldson at the branch openings. Hill founded Commerce Bank in the United States in 1973.

Metro's entry to the banking market comes amid a clamour from politicians and consumer groups for more choice for customers, amid fears of a lack of competition in the UK sector.