UK-based Metro Bank has announced plans to create 500 new jobs to support its expansion strategy.

The new jobs will include head office roles at the bank’s central London headquarters, and customer-facing roles in its stores and contact centres. The additional staff will increase the bank’s headcount to over 3,000.

The challenger bank, which opened in 2010, currently has 48 stores across London and the South. Plans are on to expand into Peterborough, Oxford and Canterbury later in 2017.

Last year, the bank set up six new stores in communities across London and the South. This year, it intends to launch its upgraded mobile app, a fully integrated online account opening platform, and launch up to 12 new stores.

Metro Bank CEO Craig Donaldson said: “This year is already set to be another exciting one for Metro Bank and in order to support our ambitious plans we’re looking for 500 new colleagues to join our growing team.

“We’re proud to invest in the development of our people, with a dedicated university that supports colleagues in their career progression and promoting over 20% of our workforce last year alone.”