Metro Bank, the UK’s best community bank, has become the first bank to receive the Welsh Language Commissioner’s official recognition demonstrating its strong commitment to the Welsh language.
The Bank has received this prestigious award after opening two stores in Cardiff in 2020 and by creating its own Welsh language charter, respecting its local community.
Within these stores signage is in English and Welsh and the Bank gives all of its colleagues the opportunity to learn Welsh. Welsh speaking customers are able to easily identify fluent Welsh speakers and learners in store as they wear the Iaith Gwaith badge alongside their Metro Bank nametag.
Ian Walters, managing director of distribution at Metro Bank, said: “We’re delighted to have been given the official recognition of the Welsh Language Commissioner and to be the first bank to have received this accolade.
“At Metro Bank, our stores act as hubs for the local community and since opening in Wales we’ve embraced the Welsh language and champion Welsh culture from our bilingual signage in our stores to celebrating St David’s Day. We’ll continue to offer more than just banking and embrace the communities we serve.”
Aled Roberts, the Welsh Language Commissioner, added: “When Metro Bank decided to launch its first store in Cardiff a year ago, we were pleased that they turned to us for help and guidance on developing a Welsh language policy. The Bank’s determination to introduce Welsh from the outset is great to see. We would like to thank the Metro Bank team for committing to the ‘Cynnig Cymraeg’ (Welsh Offer). This is a scheme that we’ve developed to help organisations to bring their Welsh language policies to life so that customers can take advantage of the Welsh services on offer.
“Many Welsh speakers are happier dealing with their bank in their first language, and we hope that banks across Wales respect their wishes by making Welsh a priority in their strategic policies. We would like to thank Metro Bank for developing its Cynnig Cymraeg with us and hope that it’ll continue to develop its Welsh language services further.”
The first Metro Bank store in Wales opened in January 2020, on Queen Street in Cardiff city centre. The Bank hosted a two-day launch party for the people of the city and were joined in the celebrations by ex-British Lions and Welsh rugby stars Brynmor Williams and Robert Jones. This was followed by a second store opening on Newport Road in June during the lockdown. The Newport Road store was also Wales’ first drive-thru bank, enabling customers to carry out completely contact-free cashier services from the comfort of their cars – an innovation that has been popular through the pandemic.
Metro Bank also launched its first ever local brand campaign last year to celebrate its renowned customer service especially for the people of Cardiff. The campaign celebrated the Bank’s long-standing belief in “People-people banking” and featured Stuti Mudgal, a local colleague from the Bank’s Cardiff Newport Road store.
Metro Bank stores have remained opened throughout the pandemic and Metro Bank’s Welsh colleagues helped the Cardiff community during the pandemic, with colleagues volunteering for Age Cymru by speaking to the most vulnerable in society and collecting donations for foodbanks in store.