Metro Bank Chairman, Vernon Hill, was last night awarded the prestigious Free Enterprise Award from the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA). Presented by Lord Norman Lamont, previous Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hill received the award at an exclusive ceremony hosted at Metro Bank in Holborn.
A panel of judges – comprising journalists, businessmen, MPs and IEA trustees – described Hill as the “overwhelming winner” for this year’s award. They praised Hill, the first American to ever be awarded this accolade, for his positive contribution to the UK banking sector and his ability to create entrepreneurial opportunities that centre on improving experiences for customers.
Commenting on the award, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “Vernon Hill embodies free market enterprise. He is a remarkable entrepreneur who has identified a clear opportunity and entered the UK banking scene at a time when the sector has been under constant fire. He is a breath of fresh air in the UK landscape and was the overwhelming winner as decided by our panel of judges.
“He has shown incredible perseverance and imagination in developing new ventures. Free enterprise is all about creating new opportunities and finding new ways of meeting people’s needs. Metro Bank is a shining example of innovation improving people’s lives. It’s refreshing to see more competition and choice in the banking sector on our high streets and it is testament to Vernon’s energy and drive that he has shown such determination in overcoming the regulatory hurdles that act as such a barrier to new entrants.”
Vernon Hill, Founder and Chairman of Metro Bank commented: “I’m humbled by this Award. The IEA is a bastion of free enterprise in Britain. Joining winners such as Margaret Thatcher, Friedrich Hayek and other Champions of Freedom is a tribute to the entire Metro Bank team.”
“Metro Bank was founded to provide a new banking choice. We thank the British people for their overwhelming reception.”
The award is given to the person judged to have made the greatest contribution to the market economy, and Hill joins an illustrious list of winners. First awarded in 1975, previous recipients include Baroness Thatcher, Lord Nigel Lawson and Richard Branson.