U.S. entrepreneur Vernon Hill's Metro Bank has received a banking license from the U.K. Financial Services Authority and will open its first two branches in the second quarter, it said Friday.
Metro Bank said it plans to build a network of more than 200 branches in London over the next 10 years. Its "stores" will be open seven days a week, and accounts will be open within 15 minutes, it said. Metro Bank will also offer free coin counting at each branch for customers and water bowls and biscuits for dogs customers bring into branches.
Metro Bank is the second so far this year to receive a banking license in the U.K. Virgin Group's Virgin Money received a license in January. The licenses are part of the U.K.'s efforts to make the banking sector more competitive.