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Metro Bank products ‘uncompetitive’

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  • 29/07/2010
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Metro Bank, the first high street bank to launch in the UK for a century, opens its doors today but none of its products have made it onto best buy tables.

It promised to revolutionise the British banking experience through offering retail opening hours, unparalleled service and a simple range of products that will be suitable for everyone.

But none of the mortgage and savings products launched today was competitive enough to make it on to the best-buy tables, while many paid below the industry average, the Telegraph reports.

These include an instant-access savings account offering a return of just 0.5%, compared with a best-buy rate of 2.8%, as well as a three-year fixed rate bond paying only 3%, significantly below the market leading rate of 4.3%.

The group’s mortgage offering is equally uncompetitive, with a two-year variable rate mortgage for someone with a 40% deposit of 3.5%, while a two-year fixed rate deal for the same borrower is 4%, compared with best-buy rates of 2.29% and 2.99% respectively.

It also raises its mortgage rates by 1% for people looking to borrow up to 80% of their home’s value.

David Black, of financial information group Defaqto, said: “It’s going to be a slow burn to get moving in terms of market share. Its products aren’t going to trouble the best-buy tables.”

Metro Bank promises customers it will take just 15 minutes to open an account in one of its branches, including obtaining a credit or debit card, which will be printed in store.

The group did win praise for its longer opening hours, with branches open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm on Saturday, and 11am to 4pm on Sunday.

The bank will be closed on only four days of the year; Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

The branches will have toilets in them and, in what is thought to be a nod to its dog-owning financial backer Mr Hill, will allow dogs and provide them with a bowl of water and a bone.

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