Metro Bank to cut 20% of staff as it looks to save £50m a year
Metro Bank said on Thursday that it plans to axe around 20% of its staff and is reviewing its policy of keeping branches open seven days a week as it looks to save around £50m a year.
The challenger bank, which was previously aiming to save around £30m a year, said it remains committed to stores and the high street, but will transition "to a more cost-efficient business model, investing in automation for service and back-office operations and improving digital channels, particularly for deposits".
"The company is reviewing seven day opening and extended store hours across the store network and is in discussions with the FCA about the customer implications of any such changes," it said.
"The company continues to seek sites in the North of England for new stores as previously communicated. Metro Bank will also take action to simplify its operations and selectively streamline lending to focus on relationship banking and maximise risk-adjusted returns on regulatory capital. These actions are expected to result in a 20% headcount reduction but will not impact areas of growth."
The cost reduction plan is expected to complete in the first quarter of next year and a £10m to £15m one-off restructuring charge is expected in 2023, which is lower than previously anticipated.
Earlier this week, the bank received shareholder approval for a £925m refinancing.
Chief executive Daniel Frumkin said: "The support shown from our investors through this transaction will allow Metro Bank to accelerate its growth plans, with the new capital allowing us to unlock the potential in the business and deliver sustainable profitable returns as we strive to be the number one community bank."