60 seconds with... Paul Marriott- Clarke
Commercial Director, Metro Bank
METRO BANK HAS JUST STARTED TO OFFER MORTGAGES THROUGH BROKERS VIA JOHN CHARCOL – HOW LONG HAD YOU BEEN PLANNING TO USE MORTGAGE INTERMEDIARIES?
We’ve always planned to, and we’ve been talking tomortgage brokers since our launch two years ago. Wetook our time to formalise our intermediary proposition tomake sure we are always able to deliver a good level ofcustomer service.
HAVE YOU FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO DISTRIBUTE MORTGAGES VIA YOUR BRANCH NETWORK?
Not at all – we certainly deliver our share of the mortgagemarket. Mortgages are only one part of our lending mix –we have a strong book made of business and personallending. Partnering with trusted brokers will be a perfectway to lend across London and the South East whilefocusing on growing to 200 stores in our first 10 years.
WITH THE UK MORTGAGE MARKET DOMINATED BY THE TOP FIVE PLAYERS, HOW DO YOU INTEND TO COMPETE?
In exactly the same way that we do in our high street stores, by offering simple transparent products, fairly priced, with good levels of personal service and convenience that we offer to all Metro Bank customers.
ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT INSISTING ALL MORTGAGE CUSTOMERS TAKE OUT A CURRENT ACCOUNT WITH YOU IT COULD POTENTIALLY PUT BORROWERS OFF USING YOU?
It’s very important to us that we have a personal relationship with the people that we lend to. This is a big part of who we are and what we stand for. We have designed our process to make sure that setting up an account is easy and a customer can walk out of a store holding their debit card quickly. Customers don’t have to switch their main account but we’re confident once they’ve experienced our service, they’ll want to.
IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE OF THE FSA FOR A DAY WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I’d switch off all of their emails and phones for the day to get people thinking about the big things that are worrying them and how they can help banks to manage them.
DO YOU HAVE ANY SECRET TALENTS?
I hope so and look forward to discovering them.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
Listening is the most important part of communication.
INTERVIEW BY ROBERT THICKETT