Metro Bank posts smaller annual loss after last-minute rescue package

By Thomson Reuters Mar 13, 2024 | 2:12 AM

(Reuters) -British lender Metro Bank posted a smaller annual loss on Wednesday, supported by its cost-cutting efforts and as outflows stabilised towards the end of the year after an eleventh-hour capital injection.

Since its launch in 2010, the company has faced a string of setbacks such as accounting errors, leadership departures and delayed regulatory approval for key capital relief. In October, the embattled lender had to strike a 925-million-pound ($1.18 billion) rescue deal overnight to bolster its balance sheet following urgent weekend talks in the wake of volatile trading.

In the months that followed, Metro has announced sweeping cost-cutting plans, which would see it lay off 20% of its staff and axe some of its biggest customer perks including seven-day opening hours.

Last month, Barclays executive Marc Page was also appointed as the finance chief, succeeding James Hopkinson, who announced plans to step down after a less than two-year stint.

Metro, which was launched to challenge the dominance of Britain’s big banks, reported an underlying loss before tax of 16.9 million pounds ($21.62 million), compared with a loss of 50.6 million pounds last year.

Deposits grew by 1% from June to 15.62 billion pounds, as of Dec. 31.

($1 = 0.7816 pounds)

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)