Metro Bank has been given the go-ahead
to enter the UK retail banking market after the Financial Services
Authority (FSA) officially approved its application for a banking

A spokeswoman for the FSA told RBI
that Metro has been authorised as a deposit taker.

The move paves the way for Metro to open its
first two branches in London by April and offer what it terms
“superior service and convenience to retail customers”
(see RBI 603). 

The bank has reportedly raised around £75m
($112.9m) of capital from institutional investors but had to delay
its launch pending the approval.

The bank will offer current accounts, savings
and loans to its retail customers and will be open from 8am to 8pm
six days a week, and from 11am to 4pm on Sundays.