In 2010, Metro Bank was the first retail bank in 100 years to open its doors in the UK. It became one of the first Challenger Banks before people were even using the term Challenger, Neo Bank or Fintech.
The Bank was founded by Vernon Hill, the American who took Commerce Bank from being a small one-branch bank to becoming the eighteenth largest in the US. His vision was to repeat this success by disrupting the status quo dominated by the Big 4 in the UK by putting effectively the retail back into Retail Banking.
A passionate and fanatical believer in turning customers into fans, even writing a book in support of this philosophy, Vernon has established a Digital Bank with a human face providing customers with choice as to how they want to interact with the Bank. Metro Bank's 55 stores are open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm while customers can also use mobile or the internet 24 hours per day. Whether face-to-face, assisted over the phone or self-service Metro Bank understood that the competitive landscape had already moved from better products to better customer experience.
Making it real
In 2009 Temenos was selected from a group of potential software suppliers because we could provide an integrated front-to-back core processing solution that was proven in the UK market. This, together with our ability to provide our software on the cloud, aligned with the bank's investment in IT and the possibility to scale to any size.
Integrated technology is front and centre in executing the Bank's strategy of turning customers into fans. From the outset, the ability to see a real-time single view of a customer's complete relationship with the Bank together with the ability to quickly create products and services to deliver differentiated Metro Bank's value to their customers and were key drivers for the Temenos decision.
Not only can Metro Bank operate at a significantly lower IT cost base and so achieve minimum efficient scale sooner, but its IT infrastructure facilitates its superior customer service. The Bank immediately began disrupting the "norm" by enabling customers to open an account in 15 minutes, including a new personalised debit card and cheque book.
Establishing the Bank's Growth Engine
Metrobank's success is based on people, a laser-like focus on exceeding customer expectations delivered by passionate employees who care. But the Bank also understood that without arming these employees with world class integrated application technologies, without providing customers with a choice of self-service, assisted or face-to-face, they would fail in terms of their primary objective of much better service at much lower cost.
The bank chose T24 from Temenos as its core processing software, integrated with Temenos Front-office and channel applications resulting in a modern, fully integrated and upgradeable solution that affords the bank a complete and real-time view over its business, its customer relationships and across all channels and does so at a fraction of the cost of running legacy or other 3rd party applications.
Temenos proposed a Model Bank process-led implementation approach, a pre-configured UK version of the software. This would minimise the need to customise the software but also provided prescribed processes and pre-configured functionality, including UK business and regulatory practice, which accelerated the implementation process significantly.
The Bank opened its doors as a full commercial bank within 9-months after the kick off of a tripartite collaboration between the bank, Temenos and Deloitte Consulting.
Metro Bank's Success To-date
In 2017, 7 years since opening its doors, the Bank has acquired 1,217,000 customers from an initial 9,000 in its first year. This is a compounded annual growth of 85%. Its growth trajectory in terms of assets continues to outperform with a 63% year-on-year increase in assets to GBP16.4B.
Vernon Hill puts Integrated Technology as a critical success factor in delivering real value to the Bank's customers. It is a weapon of choice that differentiates the Bank from the Big 4 who struggle to deliver both value and superior customer experience because of the complexity of their underlying legacy environments – disintegrated silo'd applications and data.
It is because of this that Vernon states that "the big banks can imitate our model, but they can't copy it."
So what about the future?
As per the Bank's 2017 Annual Report, "Our simple IT architecture means we are ready to adapt to emerging consumer behaviour, innovation and regulation. We are already prepared for the changes resulting from the Payment Services Directive 2 ('PSD2') which came into effect on 13th January 2018. This new legislation will help make online payments safer for customers, and give them more choice by bringing in new types of payment services, increasing competition between payment service providers and opening the door to new providers. Customers can now use authorised Third Party Providers ('TPPs') to receive their account information in one place. PSD2 opens the door for us to develop – or partner with others to provide – new services for our customers"
Metro Bank continue on their journey of building trust and delivering value to customers, Temenos being a Core component of this journey in seamlessly integrating bricks and clicks.