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Metro Bank Bucks the Trend as Banks Give up on the High Street

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New research from Metro Bank, conducted by YouGov1, has revealed the extent to which people are struggling with their banking – as banks have reduced opening hours or shut altogether during the pandemic.

44% of the Welsh population say banks they use have reduced their opening hours, and 14% reported that banks have closed completely.  More than four in 10 people (43%) in Wales have been impacted by this, and when asked if they had struggled to do their banking as a result more than a quarter (26%) agreed.

And this comes at a time when more than one third of people in Wales (37%) are worried about their finances as a result of Covid-19.

Consumers fear banks will abandon the high street and face-to-face service

By opening for fewer hours, banks can collect data that might imply branches are less busy – a narrative that can help bigger banks justify cutting costs by shutting branches.

However, by mid-July footfall across Metro Bank stores and counter transactions had returned to more than 70% of pre-Covid levels and rising.  From Monday 7 September, Metro Bank stores2 will further increase opening hours to Monday to Friday 8.30am-6.30pm, Saturday 9am-5pm, Sunday 11am-5pm.

As part of Metro Bank’s research in Wales, when asked about their banking:

  • More than half (51%) of local people agree they like to speak to someone face-to-face;
  • Half of Welsh people agree they’re worried that bank branches will operate on reduced hours or close completely after the pandemic;
  • Nearly half (47%) of people in Wales agree there are certain services only available in branch.

It’s no wonder that three quarters (75%) of people living in Wales say banks have given up on the high street; this compares to 61% of people in the UK.  The strength of feeling in Wales is higher than any other region in the UK.

Daniel Frumkin, Chief Executive Officer at Metro Bank, says:

“It’s in tough times like these that being a community bank really matters.  While bigger banks are abandoning the high street, Metro Bank is proud to be bucking the trend as a full-service, challenger bank committed to providing great service for customers in Wales – whether they choose to bank with us in our stores, on the phone, or digitally.”

Becoming the UK’s best community bank

The research also highlighted how six in 10 (62%) of people in Wales agree banks set their opening hours based on what suits the bank, rather than what suits their customers. More than two in five people in Wales (45%) agree they would like bank branches to open earlier in the morning, later at night or on weekends.

Before the pandemic, Metro Bank stores opened on average 32 hours per week longer than its peers.  Unlike bigger banks, Metro Bank has kept every single store open during the crisis, and for longer hours.

Metro Bank has two stores in Cardiff, located on Queen Street and a newly opened drive-thru store on Newport Road, which offers contact-free banking. Metro Bank prides itself on being a different kind of high street bank – open when it suits its customers, seven days a week.

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Over the past 6 years, Rachel has been working specifically within the digital marketing space and has worked with some of the country’s top brands. During this time, Rachel was a key attribute to the success of our sister product, Recruitment Buzz, which has firmly established itself as one of the leading publications within the Recruitment sector. Drawing on her knowledge and experience, Rachel has developed a genuine understanding of how content can engage and compel an audience.

Having a passion for travel and culture, Rachel left her hometown of Cardiff to pursue studies and travel and after several years away, Rachel returned to Cardiff and firmly established herself within the development of Business News Wales. Rachel is now responsible for every aspect of web management, marketing and overall production of the Business News Wales brand.

Having learnt some invaluable skills within the marketing industry, Rachel is often called upon for her skills and knowledge of WordPress, HTML, email marketing software, Photoshop design and social media tools.

 

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