Shocks & Stares » Metro Bank http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares H&K\'s Financial & Professional Services Team Blog Tue, 19 Mar 2013 08:00:56 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 FPS’ Friday Fiver http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/2011/11/fps-friday-fiver-26/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/2011/11/fps-friday-fiver-26/#comments Fri, 11 Nov 2011 19:12:49 +0000 Edward Jones http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/?p=405 Well hello there!

So it’s been a while since I penned anything on here and Dave Chambers the man who is not afraid to request a ‘Sav and a wedge’ should he feel the need, has MANFULLY held the fort. It has been a monumental week to say the least. As ever, we try not to focus on the obvious, but sometimes, particularly at the moment, there’s just no getting away from the travails of the modern economy and what Dr Doom would never call the ‘current economic climate.’ So here it is, our take on the week’s events, in 5 bite size chunks. Bon appetit!

#Eurover

Everything that could go wrong in the Eurozone pretty much has. It seems that since the first falling domino of Greece announcing it needed to be bailed out back in April 2010 through to Italy teetering on the edge this week there has been an air of predictability and certainty about which domino will topple next. So why is it that this destructive process has been seemingly allowed to go on when pretty much every falling domino has been widely predicted? In Ross’ view the primary reason has been short sighted politicians.

Naturally, politicians want to hold on to power once they have been granted it. Given that politicians are subject to frequent votes every few years in order to grant them a continued mandate they often fail to think more long term and strategically. Instead they look for quick wins. This breeds a culture of politicians not telling their electorate what they don’t want to hear which leads to many difficult decisions being overlooked. The Eurozone crisis being no exception.

Look at Angela Merkel. Unwilling to take the required step of committing Germany to underwrite Eurozone debt through fear of alienating voters who don’t want to support distant countries like Greece. George Papendreou’s craving for short term political support when calling for a referendum shattered any illusion that Merkozy had solved the Eurozone’s woes. The EU’s politicians need to address the bigger long term picture of Europe rather than bowing to domestic politics. Failure to do so will certainly result in more dominos falling.

Whilst the UK is surely towards the end of the domino line up, the fact those ahead of it keep falling should serve as a stark warning. We certainly won’t be able to say we didn’t see it coming.

How the Bond market works

This excellent graphic featured in the Times is not only a marvellous demonstration of what Ross was going on about above, it also does exactly what it says on the tin (click on it to see a larger version) and is well worth a read.  

via @SamCoatesTimes

Life on the slow (Metro) train

Last year Metro Bank launched to something of a fanfare. They proudly proclaimed they would take on the big traditional high street banks and lure customers into their doors with the promise of consumer-friendly opening hours, smiling staff, instant setup accounts and a personalised touch. The PR they got was very good in most cases, and the bank has continued with its branch opening programme to the extent that the blue and red branding is now a common theme on London’s streets.

The Guardian

All very well and good. But only if you then proceed to sell something, and as the FT reports today, this is proving tricky – there is a startling lack of mortgage sales going on, primarily because Metro can’t offer competitive rates owing to its small size and the cost of all those customer extras it offers. On a more positive note, the paper also revealed that Metro has signed up over 40,000 current and saving account holders. The message is clear then – when it comes to everyday money, many consumers will go for the brand. When it comes to big money however, a percentage figure still rules.

Good Week/Bad Week

It seems apt on today of all days to recognise the good week that the poppy campaign has enjoyed. Thanks to concerted pressure from the FA and others, England will tomorrow be allowed to wear their poppies with pride as they take on Spain at football. The poppy campaign has also enjoyed the debut of designer editions on the X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, and continued coverage on the front of every national newspaper.

It also wouldn’t be right if as Poms we couldn’t have a little dig at the absolute stinker the Australian cricket team have endured. We know there’s very little finance related about them or cricket, but we simply couldn’t resist. At 21 for 9 it could have been even more dyer but for some heroic last wicket hitting by their tail-enders. I think we liked it best the way the BBC’s Hugh Pym summed things up.

Sorry - we just couldn't resist

Financial & Professional Services meets Alexandra Burke…

And in other news, one of our highlights this week was working with Alexandra Burke to launch the Street Dance for Change campaign with our client Aviva and Railway Children. The team delivered some outstanding results and our colleague Sam Lythgoe has written up a lovely little synopsis here.

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