The upstart British bank nearly fell victim to a modern-day run earlier this month. Rumours that it was about to fail spread on social media on May 11th, prompting panicked customers to form long queues at some branches. Metro is not near collapse, but the episode adds to a cascade of bad news this year. Founded in 2010, the bank won customers from traditional lenders with perks such as extended opening hours and pet-friendly branches. However, earlier this year it said it would have to raise £375m ($477m) of new capital following the revelation of a balance-sheet error in January. That has drawn regulators’ attention and sent shares tumbling 70%. Investors may try to replace Vernon Hill, the firm’s founder and chairman, at today’s annual shareholder meeting. It isn’t Mr Hill’s first brush with trouble: he started Metro Bank after his last venture, Commerce Bancorp, ran afoul of American regulators. Disruption is a risky pursuit.

What does 'disruption' mean, does it refer to the behavior of challenging regulators?

  • 1
    Given that the immediately-preceding sentence is about Mr Hill's problems with US regulators, it might seem reasonable to suppose the "disruption" refers to Hill's attempts to significantly change the way the financial services business sector operates, by starting up new companies that operate differently to the existing major players. Why is risky, because those established companies have friends in high places (such as regulators), who will make trouble for Hill. Whatever - this is all about opinions, interpretations, and pragmatics, not use of English as such. Commented May 31, 2019 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


Here is a meaning for disruption in business according to Cambridge dictionary:

To change the traditional way that an industry operates, especially in a new and effective way.


Dell Inc. disrupted the traditional way of selling computers by switching to the internet.

You can see more examples at https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/disrupt

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.