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Say Hi! St Albans Has The UK's Chattiest High Street

Say Hi!
St Albans Has The UK’s Chattiest High Street

Research reveals the chattiest towns and cities in the UK

  • St Albans in Hertfordshire has the UK’s chattiest high street, followed by Hemel Hempstead and London high streets according to new research
  • High street chat really matters: 39% of us say our local high street has helped us stay better connected during the pandemic
  • 44% of us admit that a simple ‘hi’ from a stranger has a positive impact on our mood
  • The research comes as Metro Bank launches national Hi Street Day, on 4th December this year, encouraging people simply to say ‘hi’ to each other, to bring cheer and to highlight the important role of the high street in communities across the UK

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a small talk revival on the UK’s high streets.

A new UK-wide study from Metro Bank has found almost half (47%) of us are making more effort than before the pandemic to talk to people when visiting our local high street, while over a quarter (27%) say we value our local high street and community more than ever before.

When it comes to the UK’s chattiest high streets, the independent poll of 2,000 people across 84 towns and cities in the UK found St Albans in Hertfordshire has the UK’s chattiest high street, with Hemel Hempstead in second place, followed by London’s high streets.

UK’s Chattiest High Streets 2021:

1.       St Albans

2.       Hemel Hempstead

3.       London

4.       Belfast

5.       Liverpool

6.       Southampton

7.       Manchester

8.       Newcastle

9.       Cardiff

10.   Northampton

Saying ‘hi’ is a small gesture that clearly goes a long way; almost two thirds (64%) of us like the simple greeting of ‘hi’ from people – whether we know them or not, while 44% of us say that a ‘hi’ from a stranger has a positive impact on our mood.

Conversation expert Georgie Nightingall comments; “The pandemic may have made our social skills a little rusty, but it also highlighted a shared human need for connection and how important a little chat can be.” 

“Small talk and chit-chat can massively improve our everyday wellbeing, make us smarter, expand our networks and create a sense of wider belonging.  Research suggests that we are happier on days when we have more social interactions, be that eye contact, smiling, or a brief chat with the barista, bank teller, or just people out and about.  Perhaps it’s time we really recognised the value of a simple 'hi’.”

70% of those interviewed agree that a happy community is one where people regularly communicate with each other, even strangers. Being at the heart of the high street, Metro Bank is harnessing this new-found sense of community spirit to launch national Hi Street Day on Saturday 4th December by bringing to life the power of ‘hi’, and showing how it can bring a little joy to people and communities, as we move into a post-lockdown world. 

Kat Robinson, Head of Hi at Metro Bank, said “As a bank at the heart of the UK’s high streets, we know how important it is to really connect with others, be that through simple gestures or a little chat. Through the launch of national Hi Street Day, we aim to celebrate the role the high street has played over the last 20 months or so, in bringing society together – and keeping it together.”


Notes to Editors

Research carried out by Markettiers in an online survey of 2,000 UK adults. The fieldwork took place 09.11.2021 – 15.11.2021.

About Metro Bank

Metro Bank services more than two million customer accounts and is celebrated for its exceptional customer experience. It is the highest rated high street bank for overall service quality and best for service in-store for personal customers, and best for service in-store for business customers in the Competition and Market Authority’s Service Quality Survey in February 2021. It was recognised as ‘Bank of the Year’ at the 2020 MoneyAge Awards and ‘Banking Brand of The Year’ at the Moneynet Personal Finance Awards 2021, received Gold Award in the Armed Forces Covenant’s Employer Recognition Scheme 2021 and won Best Open Banking Partnership – Commercial at the inaugural Open Banking Expo Awards 2021.

The community bank offers retail, business, commercial and private banking services, and prides itself on giving customers the choice to bank however, whenever and wherever they choose, and supporting the customers and communities it serves. Whether that’s through its network of 78 stores open seven days a week, 362 days a year; on the phone through its UK-based 24/7 contact centres; or online through its internet banking or award-winning mobile app: the bank offers customers real choice.

Metro Bank PLC. Registered in England and Wales. Company number: 6419578. Registered office: One Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5HA. ‘Metrobank’ is the registered trademark of Metro Bank PLC.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Most relevant deposits are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. For further information about the Scheme refer to the FSCS website All Metro Bank products are subject to status and approval.

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