Why do Metro Bank make applying for their top rated fixed ISA so difficult?

24

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  • ZeroSum
    ZeroSum Posts: 1,000 Forumite
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    ZeroSum said:
    VXman said:
    We gave it one last try yesterday. Went in at about 1.30pm but all appointment slots of the day had been filled. so, sorry Metro, Virgin will get my money instead.

    What I would like to know, just out of interest, why do they insist on a in person visit?. They have other accounts that you can open online and they have an app. This particularly account, whilst it must be opened in store, it is still operated via the app. So why only open in store? Just doesn't make any sense.
    In the past banks often said you had to visit a branch for various things, like activating a credit card. It was so they could try and sell you other products. Maybe that is what metro are doing.

    No good for people like me who's nearest branch is over 100 miles away. I'm effectively blocked from having this account.
    Surely that's no worse than some building societies who require you to live in specific postcode areas in order to open an account ?

    True, but local building societies are there to serve the community. This is a national bank.
  • ZeroSum said:
    ZeroSum said:
    VXman said:
    We gave it one last try yesterday. Went in at about 1.30pm but all appointment slots of the day had been filled. so, sorry Metro, Virgin will get my money instead.

    What I would like to know, just out of interest, why do they insist on a in person visit?. They have other accounts that you can open online and they have an app. This particularly account, whilst it must be opened in store, it is still operated via the app. So why only open in store? Just doesn't make any sense.
    In the past banks often said you had to visit a branch for various things, like activating a credit card. It was so they could try and sell you other products. Maybe that is what metro are doing.

    No good for people like me who's nearest branch is over 100 miles away. I'm effectively blocked from having this account.
    Surely that's no worse than some building societies who require you to live in specific postcode areas in order to open an account ?

    True, but local building societies are there to serve the community. This is a national bank.
    Metro isn't there primarily to serve the community The bank is a business, it exists to make a profit although not very successfully at the moment. It's a relatively new entrant to the banking world.......it was the first new entry for, I believe over 100 years. Metro are planning to open more branches which is the exact opposite of many high street banks which are closing theirs.
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,213 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    VXman said:
    We gave it one last try yesterday. Went in at about 1.30pm but all appointment slots of the day had been filled. so, sorry Metro, Virgin will get my money instead.

    What I would like to know, just out of interest, why do they insist on a in person visit?. They have other accounts that you can open online and they have an app. This particularly account, whilst it must be opened in store, it is still operated via the app. So why only open in store? Just doesn't make any sense.
    In the past banks often said you had to visit a branch for various things, like activating a credit card. It was so they could try and sell you other products. Maybe that is what metro are doing.

    Indeed. It's fairly safe to say that the reason you can only open it in store is not because it hasn't occurred to Metro to put an online option on their website. Most likely the interest rate is a loss-leader and it is being offered to tempt customers into branches, where sales advisors can sell them other, profitable, products. Another possibility is that they expect the sort of people who open accounts in branches to be the sort of people who switch less often, so are more likely to keep holding the account when the interest rate is no longer competitive.

    Either way, allowing people to open the account online would defeat the object of offering the interest rate - the goal is not to attract as many customers as possible, but to attract the right sort.

    Whether it turns out to be a successful business model remains to be seen but we can safely assume that Metro don't think that it is unsustainable - if they did they wouldn't be doing it.
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 22,097 Forumite
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    Either way, allowing people to open the account online would defeat the object of offering the interest rate - the goal is not to attract as many customers as possible, but to attract the right sort.

    I guess they do not want the serial switchers who inhabit this site  !

  • subjecttocontract
    subjecttocontract Posts: 1,888 Forumite
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    edited 30 November 2023 at 9:37PM
    Aretnap said:
    VXman said:
    We gave it one last try yesterday. Went in at about 1.30pm but all appointment slots of the day had been filled. so, sorry Metro, Virgin will get my money instead.

    What I would like to know, just out of interest, why do they insist on a in person visit?. They have other accounts that you can open online and they have an app. This particularly account, whilst it must be opened in store, it is still operated via the app. So why only open in store? Just doesn't make any sense.
    In the past banks often said you had to visit a branch for various things, like activating a credit card. It was so they could try and sell you other products. Maybe that is what metro are doing.

    Indeed. It's fairly safe to say that the reason you can only open it in store is not because it hasn't occurred to Metro to put an online option on their website. Most likely the interest rate is a loss-leader and it is being offered to tempt customers into branches, where sales advisors can sell them other, profitable, products. Another possibility is that they expect the sort of people who open accounts in branches to be the sort of people who switch less often, so are more likely to keep holding the account when the interest rate is no longer competitive.

    Either way, allowing people to open the account online would defeat the object of offering the interest rate - the goal is not to attract as many customers as possible, but to attract the right sort.

    Whether it turns out to be a successful business model remains to be seen but we can safely assume that Metro don't think that it is unsustainable - if they did they wouldn't be doing it.
    That's not the case.....at least it wasn't my experience. I visited the branch on 17th November to open up & arrange to transfer an ISA. No attempt was made to sell me any other products.
  • Getting to the top of the interest rate tables is free advertising. Metrobank really need it!!

    You then limit the number of customers who can get the rate and therefore limit the cost.

    Noone is motivated to give you top rates unless:
    You move a current account to get it
    You attract a customer base who will forget to move the money when the rate ends

    So many costs associated with opening an account, kyc, fraud prevention, money laundering prevention etc

    Foreign based banks do it to get a credible brand image in the UK.


  • I personally think it's pretty poor advertising overall though. I've never had any personal dealings with Metro but my Barclays fixed rate is up and I'm looking to move the money to another fix. Did a comparison, decided to open this, noted the branch visit which put me off. That's ok, there are lots of accounts with restrictions, I'll pick out something else.

    However, I by chance was delayed travelling and waiting around right beside a Metro branch earlier and thought oh I could actually go and sort this. Same experience as others here - won't be seen, go away basically.

    Is this the first interaction you want potential customers to have with you? Noone sensible would do this on purpose.
  • subjecttocontract
    subjecttocontract Posts: 1,888 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 1 December 2023 at 8:42PM
    If my memory serves me correctly then Metro haven't offered really competitive interest rates ever. This latest batch of account offerings is the first time they have been in this situation. It seems similar to many of the smaller building societies who suddenly offer a market leading account and then find they just can't cope with the demand.
    Presumably, as their share price has plunged to 40p over the past few years, they have not had the funds to invest in improved systems to handle this situation. It is what it is, you can take it or leave it. I don't suppose they will be particularly upset that you are going elsewhere because they have another potential customer waiting to take your place.
  • dlevene
    dlevene Posts: 288 Forumite
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    Yes, I tend to put these situations down to c*ck-up rather than conspiracy.

    Why would they want to advertise if not to pull in new customers?

    My experience when I finally got my appointment bears this out.

    I'm not too bothered. I'll stick with them for as long as it benefits me, then off I'll go!


  • VXman
    VXman Posts: 516 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    ZeroSum said:
    ZeroSum said:
    VXman said:
    We gave it one last try yesterday. Went in at about 1.30pm but all appointment slots of the day had been filled. so, sorry Metro, Virgin will get my money instead.

    What I would like to know, just out of interest, why do they insist on a in person visit?. They have other accounts that you can open online and they have an app. This particularly account, whilst it must be opened in store, it is still operated via the app. So why only open in store? Just doesn't make any sense.
    In the past banks often said you had to visit a branch for various things, like activating a credit card. It was so they could try and sell you other products. Maybe that is what metro are doing.

    No good for people like me who's nearest branch is over 100 miles away. I'm effectively blocked from having this account.
    Surely that's no worse than some building societies who require you to live in specific postcode areas in order to open an account ?

    True, but local building societies are there to serve the community. This is a national bank.
    Metro isn't there primarily to serve the community The bank is a business, it exists to make a profit although not very successfully at the moment. It's a relatively new entrant to the banking world.......it was the first new entry for, I believe over 100 years. Metro are planning to open more branches which is the exact opposite of many high street banks which are closing theirs.
    That doesn't bear out where we live. They had 2 branches. One in the city centre and another randomly next to a Waitrose 4 miles from the town centre near residential estate. They then decided to close the town centre one as they decided 'customers prefer the easy access of the out of town branch'. I find that hard to believe that a branch that you have to drive 4 miles from the town centre (8 miles for me) is better than once in the town centre which is heaving with shoppers everyday. I reckon is was more to do with not wanting to pay the expensive rent of the town centre.
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