New Metro Bank opens first branch

Britain's newest high street bank, the first in more than 100 years, will open its doors to customers on Thursday.

Metro Bank says its aim is to provide "unparalleled" service through longer working hours and simple, accessible financial products.

Like many retailers, the bank will be open between 8am and 8pm on weekdays, 8am to 6pm on Saturday and from 11am to 4pm on Sunday. It will remain closed only on Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Although the extended working hours were welcomed, industry analysts said the products offered at the launch were not competitive enough to be included in best-buy tables.

Metro Bank is also promising speedy service, with customers being able to open an account in just 15 minutes, including getting their credit or debit cards.

The first branch has opened in Holborn with a second coming up in Earls Court next month. The bank plans to open 10 more branches in Greater London over the next two years, expanding its network to more than 200 outlets within the M25 during the next decade.

The branches will have toilets in them and will allow dogs and provide them with a bowl of water and a bone.

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