Metro Bank Plc, the London-based retail bank that Moorestown developer Vernon Hill started in 2010 after his former Commerce Bancorp was sold to TD Bank in 2007, has raised 400 million British pounds ($566 million) in a stock offering that values the entire bank at $2.26 billion, on the London stock exchange.
The bank, which has opened around three dozen new glass-walled branches as larger UK lenders shut hundreds of older offices, last month cut the size of the IPO after London stockbrokers complained it had been richly priced for a shaky overall stock market, Reuters wrote here. But Metro shares this morning jumped 7 percent in early trading, reports the Financial Times here.
As one of a handful of upstart lenders challenging Britain's dominant banks, Metro is not yet profitable. The company was initially backed by a trans-Atlantic group of real estate developers and investors (though not Hill's past golfing partner and Commerce depositor Donald Trump).
Hill is also an investor in Phladelphia-based Republic Bank/Republic First Bancorrp, which has been expanding its branch network in South Jersey.Hill had sought to merge Republic with another bank he partly owned, Metro Bank of Harrisburg, but regulators were slow to approve the deal and Metro (Harrisburg) agreed to be purchased last year by First National Bank of Pennsylvania instead.
For all the time they spend in England, Hill and his wife/construction supervisor/decorator Shirley Hill have remained active in the Philadelphia area. The Hills will be honored tonight (updated) at an annual Roman Catholic HIgh School fundraising dinner (Hill isn't Cathoiic but says Catholic-school grads make effective lenders and managers.)
Roman fundraiser Patrick Plunkett tells me Hill's presence at the dinner has helped raise raise $500,000 for scholarships so far, as much as the event collected in the past two years combined.