Losses narrow, deposits & loans soar, challenges remain at Metro Bank

From a standing start in 2010, total assets at Metro Bank now exceed £3.6bn.

From a standing start in 2010, total assets at Metro Bank now exceed £3.6bn; for the year to end December, total assets almost doubled (up 94%) while customer numbers grew by 63% to 447,000.

Among fiscal year 2014 Metro Bank highlights:

  • Total deposits grew by 118% to £2.87bn from £1.31bn at the end of 2013:
  • Average deposits per store rose by 75% to £92m at the end of 2014 (2013: £52.6m); Metro Bank ended the year with 31 stores (26 at the end of 2014) and plans to open an additional 10 outlets during 2015;
  • Total loans soared by 112% year-on-year to £1.59bn;

Metro Bank’s success in the business segment is highlighted with deposits from business customers representing 64% of total deposits, and lending to businesses 45% of total lending.

Issues do remain for Metro Bank to address. It ended fiscal 2014 with a loans/deposit ratio of 55.7%, down 180 basis points year-on-year (FY2013 57.5%). The bank has, in the past, talked of targeting a loans/deposit ratio of closer to 75%.

As for the bank’s previously stated aim to break even at some stage in 2015/2016, such a target may be ambitious though on a quarterly basis, losses in Q413 reduced for the sixth successive quarter.

In fiscal 2014, losses narrowed by 6.9% year-on-year to £38.9m (FY2013 41.8m) taking accumulated losses after tax to £134.3m for the period 2011-2014.

Craig Donaldson, CEO, Metro Bank said: “2014 was another great year for Metro Bank. Throughout the year we saw substantial growth in deposits and lending, and the number of personal and business customers joining the banking revolution has continued to increase.

“As we start a new year, we’re excited to continue innovating and providing a real banking choice to the British people, as well as maintaining our commitment to deliver the best in service and convenience.”

The potential market share gains for UK challenger banks in the period to 2018 was highlighted by investment bank Jefferies in a note last year. It forecast that the established UK banks may cede four percentage points of lending market share to UK banking start-ups in the next four years, an incremental lending pool of some £100bn with an associated revenue potential of £5bn.

With loans-to-deposit ratios at established players (Lloyds and Santander come to mind) remaining way in excess of 100% and so likely to result in further deleveraging – not to mention ongoing customer service dissatisfaction with the Big Four banks in the business sector that Metro Bank is benefitting from – Metro Bank remains well placed to secure further market share gains.