By Claire West

Metro Bank's first branch opened today in Holborn. It will differentiate itself from competing banks by extending opening hours from 08.00 to 22.00 during the week, and opening at weekends.

The bank also claims that staff bonuses will be linked to customer satisfaction rather than the number of products sold. This could be just the start as new banks look to tailor their approach to anticipate and meet the needs of their customers.

In response to these changes, Phil Grannum, Managing Director of Enterprise at Cable&Wireless Worldwide said:
'Today’s launch of Metro Bank heralds a new era in the UK banking sector. The increase in competition brings consequences for the existing high street banks who must address their own issues with regards to customer service'.

'These banks must improve customer service and increase access and availability for consumers. Customers want a joined-up way to interact with their bank using a variety of channels including email, phone, SMS and a secure web portal for online banking services'.

'Systems such as integrated multimedia platforms that enable a bank to personalise communications for every single recipient and be proactive, or respond quickly, through their preferred channels are imperative'.

'In addition, providing A-grade infrastructure will ensure a faster payments initiative. Banks must offer a solution that will run across a global, high-speed next-generation network, designed with flexibility and scalability in mind which will allow them to introduce new sites and contact centres as their banking services grow'.

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