Last week saw the long awaited launch of Metro Bank, the first high street bank in the UK for over 100 years, but what’s behind the brand that promises to make you ‘Love your bank at last”?
It’s fair to say that when I first visited the Metro Bank website I was a little more than surprised – And not in a good way.
What greets you at metrobankonline.co.uk wouldn’t look out of place on a late night infomercial and watching the video’s from various key stakeholders, I found myself waiting for the Cilit Bang guy to pop up and a shout “BANG – the site is gone”.
Unfortunately he didn’t and the site is, much to my dismay, most definitely still there.
All joking aside, the Metro Bank site does little to promote the bank as anything more than a business built on gimmicks.
Sure, dog bowls, free lollies, longer opening hours and exchanging my coins for cash are great ‘nice to have’ features (although last time I checked coins are still cash in my little part of England!) but I want to know about my product and how my bank is looking after my money.
The website lacks any useful content. There is no detailed information about the products that Metro provide and the ‘Great Online Banking’ that forms part of the Metro Bank promise hasn’t even been launched yet.
The look and feel of the site seems rushed and lacks the polished finished you’d expect from brand looking to make a big splash. Poor font usage makes the site look untidy, some pages using in excess of 10 different fonts/styles. Combined with the use of tacky images and animations, it does little to provide any assurances of quality – instead making the site seem dated and low budget.
If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say that the site had never been within spitting distance of a user prior to it’s launch. And in the hurry to be first to market with a new high street branch, Metro Bank seems to have taken a somewhat reckless ‘That’ll do’ approach with the website.
With Metro Bank not currently planning to launch branches outside London (at least not publicly), the majority of the UK interested in this new bank will use the web to find out more. In my opinion, Metro Banks failure to deliver a strong online proposition could leave a bitter taste in the mouths of potential customers should they wish to expand in the future.
Whilst only time will tell if Metro Bank will be a success in the UK, what is clear is that they’ll have invest significant time and effort into their website if they stand any chance of going toe to toe with the big 4 banks online.
Lets pray they react quickly and make a fight of it.