Vernon W Hill II, Founder and Chairman at Metro Bank, the revolution in British banking, has been named an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Kingston University in London in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business and the economy. He was presented with the honorary degree by the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Steven Spier during a graduation ceremony at the borough’s Rose Theatre on Friday.
A serial entrepreneur and businessman, Hill founded Metro Bank in 2010, which has since grown to more than 1.3 million customer accounts, served by 3,500 colleagues, across almost 60 stores, with a market value of £2.9bn. Its model, focussed around creating FANS through providing unrivalled levels of service and convenience, has won the bank multiple accolades over the years.
Metro Bank is Hill’s fifth new bank that he has started from scratch, and he is frequently credited with re-inventing retail banking in the United States, having founded Commerce Bank in 1973 and built it into one of the largest banks in America. Hill is also Chairman at Petplan US.
Kingston University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Steven Spier, said: “Vernon’s success in the banking sector, on both sides of the Atlantic, has been achieved through an ambitious, innovative and customer-focused approach to business that has challenged the established players.
“That entrepreneurial spirit and ability to respond to opportunities is something we foster in our students, so they can go out and make a difference in the world once they graduate. We are delighted to be able to acknowledge Vernon’s outstanding contribution to business and the economy with this award.”
Collecting the award alongside Sir Duffield, Chief Canine Officer, Vernon Hill, Founder and Chairman at Metro Bank added: “I am delighted and truly honoured to be recognised by Kingston University. I would like to wish all the students the best of luck with their studies - everyone has their own unique advantage or talent that no one else can replicate. The people who really succeed are the ones who recognise their real calling and turn that into a vocation.”
Hill was awarded an Honorary Professorship from the Cass School of Business, City University London, in 2016. He is also an alumni of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Metro Bank has been part of the Kingston community since 2013, when it opened its 21st store on Clarence Street, KT1 1NP.