Metro bank, a thin veneer of modern over another old bank

I remember reading about Metro bank a few years ago when they started opening branches and I was genuinely quite excited, finally something new to start shaking up a very boring industry.

I was working with Crunch at the time and they had a deal with Metro bank for their customers, you ended up with a business bank account that has an automated statement import into their accounting system. Wanting to move away from the truly awful Santander I jumped at the chance, although being privy to the behind the scenes import process I should have realised at this point that it wasn't going to be that much better.

I ended up opening a personal current account as well which meant a visit to the branch and exposure to some of the other things that helped them make a name for themselves, long opening hours, the printing of your bank card while you wait and some very nice branches. The first thing they do (did?) when opening an account is give you a tour of the branch and some history about the company so you end up leaving with a very positive impression.

Despite all the nice bits it didn't take long to see the cracks. Their first attempt at a mobile app was rather terrible and de-registered you from the system if you forgot your password a few times, I quickly uninstalled this and learnt to cope with using their online banking experience (not mobile friendly) on a mobile browser.

Shortly after that their web developers made a breaking change to the online app which meant I had to open up the inspector panel if I wanted to login, this went on for months and rather than fixing it they even added a message saying please use another browser!

There were rough edges but on the odd occasion I needed to visit a branch I was reminded why they were quite good, although the heavy focus on dogs is a bit off putting, enough so that my fiance refused point blank to use them.

At one point I read that they had purchased the technology stack from another company which starts to explain what's going on, the bits they can do themselves, the branch experience is good but everything else is just the same as any other old bank or possibly a bit worse as they don't have the ability to improve things.

What has pushed me over the line is little a change to the login process for online banking, the password field has now been split into number dropdowns breaking the password manager I use and making an already horrible experience even worse.

If you're a fan of going into the branch its probably still a good choice but for everyone else it's not worth bothering with.