Metro Bank (MBNKF) has defied uncertainty brought about by Britain's vote to leave the EU and stuck to its guns on growth targets, reiterating Wednesday a pledge to double in size by 2020.
The upstart lender, who counts Steve Cohen's Cohen Private Ventures as its largest shareholder, reported its second quarterly profit against a backdrop of overarching economic uncertainty and said that it has seen no significant change in customer behaviour since the U.K voted to leave the European Union in June last year.
"The response of the British public to Metro Bank has exceeded our expectations", said chairman and founder Vernon Hill.
This was a sentiment that has been echoed by other lenders. Britain's largest mortgage provider, Lloyds (LYG) - Get Lloyds Banking Group plc Sponsored ADR Report , sounded a cautiously upbeat tone on the U.K. economy Wednesday after reporting its best year in a decade.
Metro listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2016 but has been attempting to shake up the cosy U.K banking sector ever since it was founded, by American billionaire Vernon Hill, in 2010.
It was the first new bank to launch in over a century and has gone back to basics with a branch based model, at a time when other lenders are increasingly cutting back their real estate portfolios, while its 'stores' are the first open seven days a week in banking.
Deposits from customers grew by 56% in the year ending Dec 31, to £7.9 billion ($9.8 billion), while the loan book grew by 66% to £5.8 billion.
"Metro Bank is a premium asset and should be valued as such," said Joseph Dickerson at Jefferies, before hiking his price target for the stock to 4,500 pence which implies around 30% upside from the current level.
In a further rebuke to convention, the lender confirmed its growth targets for 2020 on Wednesday, at a time when other banks are becoming more cautious on credit and still attempting to dispose of crisis era assets.
Under the plan it will double the number of branches it has in its portfolio to 110, is targeting a net interest margin of 3% inclusive of fees and a cost income ratio of 60%.
Its return on equity for shareholders is forecast to be an industry leading 18% by the end of the period.
Metro shares rose as much as 1.4%, to an intraday high of 3,567 pence, following the announcement, giving it a market value of around £2.8 billion.