Fringe Box



Metro Bank Opens Its Doors In Guildford To A New Style of Banking

Published on: 19 Apr, 2013
Updated on: 20 Apr, 2013
Metro Man at the Metro Bank Guildford branch opening

Metro Man at the Metro Bank Guildford branch opening.

by Maria Rayner

Metro Bank opened its North Street doors for business today (April 19) to bring a new style of banking to Guildford.

There were staff handing out balloons, a large “Metro Man” mascot, a stilt walker and the bank’s resident DJ Special Kay who spun discs to which the leaflet-touting staff danced along.

Special K for dancing customers... and staff

Special K for dancing customers… and staff.

Anne Milton MP who cut a ribbon made from a string of realistic-looking £5 notes formally opened the group’s 17th store.

Anne Milton MP cuts the £5 note ribbon

Anne Milton MP cuts the £5 note ribbon. To her left is Vernon W Hill the bank’s founder and to her right Ben Sheeran, branch director.

Children are welcome

Children are welcome.

Passers-by, perhaps jaded by scandals in other parts of the banking sector, were invited in for a tour with a chance to open an account.

Amber Pitman and her 14-month-old son, Archie, from Guildford, accompanied a friend who was opening an account at the store, said: “It looks more like a circus than a bank. I like the kid’s account with the stamps but I’m worried there might be a catch.”

Local director, Ben Sheeran, said the first account had been opened at 7.55am, highlighting the bank’s policy of opening 10 minutes before the published opening hours.

Rachel Cohen from the Holborn store said: “Anne Milton MP may be our guest of honour but the people of Guildford are all our guests.”

Dog friendliness is one of the bank's selling points. Here our reporter's dog tests the facilities

Dog friendliness is one of the bank’s selling points. Here our reporter’s dog tests the facilities.

Four-legged friends are particularly welcome and some customers took the opportunity to take their pets along, including a spaniel-cross, a weimaraner and The Guildford Dragon’s own labrador, who appreciated the dog snacks. Chairman Vernon Hill cradled Metro’s Yorkshire Terrier, Duffy, and confided that he wasn’t keen on the noise.

The open door to dogs does not exist at all North Street banks. Barclays has a no-dogs sign on their door. Lloyds Bank on the High Street admits on a dog-by-dog basis. Manager Marc Stokes said: “Guide dogs are fine. There’s no policy, and if the dog is no trouble then we have no problem with a customer bringing it inside. If it’s very big then we prefer it to be left outside.”

The party continues at Metro Bank on Saturday.

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