Travers advises on launch of Metro Bank

Travers Smith has landed a prime role in the establishment of the first high street bank in the UK for more than 100 years.

Metro Bank, which opened its first branch in London’s Holborn last Thursday, initially instructed Travers in early 2008 with financial services chief Margaret Chamberlain leading the relationship.

A multi-disciplinary team at the City firm acted for the bank on its application for authorisation from the FSA in September 2008, as well as a simultaneous £75m fund raising exercise.

The firm also advised on outsourcing contracts for the new bank and work involving the production of customer contracts.

Chamberlain said: “It was particularly challenging as you have to have all the contractual structures in place before the FSA approval comes through. You’re hopeful that you’ll get approval but you have to take all the risks beforehand – it requires a bit of commitment and faith.”

The Travers team also featured financial services partners Mark Evans and Tim Lewis, corporate finance partner Richard Skelton and commercial partners Tom Purton and Dan Reavill.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom advised Metro Bank on the capital raising in the US, with corporate partners Philip Harris and Andrea Nicolas leading.

The new bank, founded by Vernon Hill and Anthony Thomson, will be the first in the UK to open its doors to customers seven days a week. Among a number of marketing gimmicks, it is also offering dog biscuits and lollipops to customers.