Profits at burgeoning high street lender Metro Bank have topped £1m for the first time, putting the lender on course for its first year in the black. The challenger bank has racked up annual losses ever since it was founded by its billionaire American chairman Vernon Hill seven years ago to take on Britain's biggest lenders. But Metro is aiming to move out of the red this year and said it started 2017 on a strong footing, posting a net profit of £1.1m for the first three months of the year, its third straight quarterly profit and an improvement on the £11.1m loss it suffered in the same period a year earlier. It reported net deposit growth of more than £1bn for the three months, a quarterly record, and customers have now opened almost 1 million accounts. Unlike its big rivals Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland, which have been closing branches by the thousands in recent years as more customers bank online, Metro has been opening sites, a strategy questioned by some analysts. It has 48 branches and plans 10 more this year. "Now the model is playing through," said Craig Donaldson, chief executive. However, despite the… Read full this story
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