Lansons

From zero to £1.6 billion in six years - the creation of a challenger bank

Lansons has worked with Metro Bank since 2008, two years before it formally launched on the High Street. In that time we have helped position Metro Bank as one of the leading challengers to the banking status quo.

Our challenge in January 2016 was to support Metro Bank as it sought to raise new capital for investment from (mainly) existing shareholders and list on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange via an Introduction.

However, shortly after the project was launched, equity markets entered a period of extreme volatility, with bank stocks falling over 20% and shares in some banks even temporarily suspended. This, together with other factors, including the unusual method of listing, meant that the client faced a difficult period of media scrutiny and a challenging six week period Jan-March 2016.

With markets in a volatile state, our strategy was to seek balanced rather than heightened press coverage, in the process protecting the project and the reputation of the bank and its management. Our advice in support of this included recommendations on messages, frequency of media engagement and the method and timing of individual announcements throughout the project.

Metro Bank raised £400m at a time of extreme market volatility and listed successfully on the London Stock Exchange, going straight into the FTSE250. There was huge media interest in the flotation, which generated over 60 national articles. At critical moments in the process, Lansons’ advice had a direct and positive influence on how the story of the capital raising was being covered by the media. Despite the challenge of poor market conditions, overall coverage of Metro Bank was positive over the six week period and served to support the client’s profile as a banking revolutionary, as well as the specific objectives of the project.