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Metro bank to open Basildon branch
7:00pm Thursday 24th October 2013 in News
A “BANKING revolution” is on the cards for Basildon after a new bank was given the green light to open a branch in the town.
Metro Bank, which is the first retail bank chain to launch in the UK in 100 years, has got planning permission to open in Basildon early next year, bringing 25 new jobs to the area.
Three units, including the old Barclays building on the corner of East Walk and South Gunnels in the town centre, will be joined together to make room for the new branch.
The site will have space for a large banking hall with offices on the first floor.
Metro Bank, which first started trading in 2010, has 16 branches in Greater London and the firm’s officials said Basildon was on its hit-list as it looks to expand elsewhere.
Craig Donaldson, chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to be able to bring the banking revolution to the people of Basildon.
“As a community bank, Basildon is a great personal and business community for us to be in and we have found a fantastic location to serve it from.
“We believe in our motto of Local Bankers Making Local Loans and each of our stores is run by a local bank manager who makes local lending decisions.”
The bank will be open seven days a week and bosses at the company say they pride themselves on offering top customer service.
Nationally, branches are open 362 days a year - including bank holidays – and customers will also benefit from a 24-hour call centre based in London.
A spokesman claimed the Basildon branch would open in 2014, but could not provide a firmer date.
The jobs, which will be for a variety of roles within the bank, will be advertised closer to when Metro Bank moves into its new home.
The news is a boost for banking in the borough following the announcement Santander is set to close its branch in Pitsea this year.
Phil Rackley, who represents St. Martin’s ward for the Independent Labour group, said: “I think it is better than having empty shops and empty premises.
“It’s an extra banking facility and will provide a service, I would rather that than another pound shop.
“Hopefully it will bring quality employment into the town, and in particular training opportunities for young people.”
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