MetroBank plan to open a drive-thru branch on Newport Road but not everyone’s in favour
In 2010, MetroBank became the first high street bank to open in the UK in over 100 years.
Since then, it has opened drive-thru branches in England in an attempt to change the way people bank.
But now the organisation is moving west. MetroBank are hoping to open their first drive-thru branch in Wales. The bank will be a part of a new retail park replacing the What! DIY store which is closing down. If plans are approved the branch will employ around 22 people.
On its website, MetroBank say a drive-thru “will allow customers to carry out cashier services from the comfort of their cars. Customers will be able to pay in cash and cheques and withdraw funds from their account with the help of two dedicated cashiers”.
But not everyone is convinced by the idea. Mark Hooper is a trustee of social justice think tank, The Bevon Foundation, and helped set up the local currency, the Cardiff Pound.
He says drive-thru banks are just a gimmick.
“ The idea makes a headline and looks cool but it doesn’t change things” he said. “I think we’ve got to get back to simple banking that does what it says on the tin. Gimmicks like drive-thru banks are not the answer to the problems caused by the 2008 financial crisis which we are still experiencing”.
Mr Hooper says Cardiff people would benefit from more inclusive approaches to banking rather than ideas like drive-thru’s.
“I think there are things to be done across Wales. Mark Drakeford, the new First Minister, is committed to setting up a cooperatively owned bank in Wales which I think could be the answer to some problems” he said.
MetroBank are now waiting for planning permission to start building on Newport Road.