• London-based bank has hired advisers for offering next year
  • Customer deposits rise 87% to 4.4 billion pounds in year

Metro Bank Plc, the British lender backed by wealthy American financiers including Steven Cohen, said lending doubled in the year through September as it prepares for an initial public offering.

Loans to consumers and businesses rose to about 3 billion pounds ($4.6 billion) at the end of the third quarter from 1.4 billion pounds a year earlier, the London-based bank said in a statement on Tuesday. The company said it has appointed advisers for a share sale next year, without providing further details.

Chairman Vernon Hill, 70, is pushing for Metro Bank to beat the growth of Commerce Bancorp Inc., the New Jersey-based firm he started with one outlet in 1973 that was sold to Toronto-Dominion Bank 34 years later for $8.5 billion. The lender has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Canada to handle a share sale next year, people familiar with the matter have said.

“We’re continuing to grow at an ever impressive rate,” Hill said in the statement. “U.K. banking customers have long been crying out for a better service and we’re here to provide it.”

Total deposits rose 87 percent to 4.4 billion pounds in the year through Sept. 30, while the number of checking accounts increased 51 percent to 601,000. Total assets grew to 5.4 billion pounds.

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