Vernon and Shirley Hill say they're applying their Commerce Bank shake-up to the staid British banking market. The result is Metro Bank Plc, which is thawing a frozen industry dominated by NatWest and a handful of other big companies that had grown used to tight government oversight and making people stand in long lines.
With Shirley at his side teaching English contractors faster American ways, Vernon works his magic: He turns mid-career executives numbed by years of bureaucracy into enthusiastic hard-driving promoters. He persuades cold-eyed real estate speculators to commit millions to his vision. He even makes the sun shine on a rainy day.