02 Nov 2016 Metro Bank Founder Anthony Thomson Lectures On The Banking Sector With Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre (The NCS) Economists – In Video
The NCS was recently privileged to welcome Mr Anthony Thomson, entrepreneur and founder of Metro Bank and CEO of Atom Bank. Mr Thomson visited to speak to our Economic students about his experiences in the sector as part of our unrivalled Lecture Programme and shed some light on the changing landscape of the banking sector. During the talk Mr Thomson provided an insight into the process and thinking behind the creation of Metro Bank and the importance of always being a customer orientated business.
“I believe fundamentally that the purpose of a business is to give the customer a better product, or a better service or a better experience. If you do that well and you manage your business well, it will make money.”
This direct insight into the mind of a business leader continued when he detailed and encouraged the practice of challenging the normal conventions of a profession. He emphasised the importance of thinking innovative, dynamically and creatively and young people were in the best place to look at the world and think ‘what could be different’
“What made Metro Bank different was that we had an insight of the blindingly obvious. We thought of crazy ideas that will never catch on like, ‘Why don’t we open when customers actually want to go to the bank? Why don’t we open at 8 o’clock in the morning so that we can serve you on your way into work and why don’t we stay open until 8 o’clock at night so we can serve you at night. Or why don’t we open on Saturday or Sunday when you’re not working.’”
Continuing with the theme of looking at the data and challenging conventions Mr Thomson went on to detail his latest venture, Atom Bank, the UK’s first digital only bank. Students have been studying market structures in economics and to be able to discuss first-hand the role of Atom Bank in changing the contestability of the banking market through the use of technology was a real treat.
“If you go into a branch, that’s called ‘Direct Banking’. If you use a device such as a telephone, that’s ‘Remote Banking’. I think that’s crazy. I think you getting up from your desk and walking up the high street to get to Barclays, that’s remote. This [mobile phone] is wherever you are. So it’s not remote. It couldn’t be any closer to you. And the reason we call it Atom bank is we say that ‘We’re never more than an atom away from you.’”
Alongside detailing his mindset, Mr Thomson’s talk also gave a truly unique insight into the extremely difficult process of establishing, maintaining and developing a new bank in the current economic climate. He finished by encouraging our students to not just ask him questions – and he actively said that many of them were “really great” – but to do so whilst challenging him on some of the ideas that he’d been discussing. It led to a truly energised Q&A session.
Everyone at The NCS would like to thank Mr Thomson for taking the time to visit us. You can watch the full lecture below.
Video - watch the full lecture
The Student View
“The lecture was truly captivating as Anthony provided an informative insight into what starting a business consists of and the main objectives one should have to be successful. His excellent expertise has definitely given me more confidence in building a career within the intellectual world of business.” - Daisy
“This thought provoking lecture by Anthony Thomson showed me the importance of recognising how the world around us is changing. He had the idea of starting a new digital banking service when he realised that people were moving away from traditional branches and were heading towards technology. He also gave me a deeper insight on marketing and the high barriers that were experienced when entering the banking industry. This talk will remain a great experience for all of us hoping to go into the world of business.” - Sneha
“Anthony Thomson's enthusiastic approach to his lecture left the students of the NCS in awe. His exceptional responses to our complex questions about market structures will be incredibly useful to our study of economics. It definitely left me inspired to always think outside the box because you never know the immense impact you can have when you challenge the status quo, as Anthony did when transforming the banking industry!” - Saadia