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Metro Bank raising £350m to cover commercial and BTL loan risks

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  • 13/05/2019
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Metro Bank raising £350m to cover commercial and BTL loan risks
Metro Bank has confirmed it is in the process of raising £350m to cover capital requirements after it assigned a much lower risk weighting to its mortgage lending portfolio than it should have.

 

The lender has also drawn up plans to potentially sell £1bn worth of loans if necessary, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The bank is being investigated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) after regulators discovered an accounting problem which meant it had underestimated the risk level of around £1.7bn of its £4.1bn commercial and buy-to-let loan book.

As a result it withdrew its portfolio commercial buy-to-let (BTL) products in February.

Metro Bank’s announcement comes as it faces pressure from shareholders to not re-elect senior board members, including founder and chairman Vernon Hill.

It was also revealed last week that one of the bank’s largest shareholders, Fidelity, cut its holding from 7.6 per cent to 5.4 per cent.

 

Well advanced share issue

In a stock exchange filing this morning, Metro Bank said its £350m equity raise to “support its growth” was “well advanced”.

“Further to recent press speculation, Metro Bank confirms that its plan to raise circa £350m of equity capital to support its growth is well advanced,” the statement said.

“Metro Bank has commenced final discussions with existing shareholders and new investors, and the feedback continues to be positive.”

The bank’s chief executive Craig Donaldson told the FT that one of the ways it could address the issues would be to securitise or sell the book.

Metro Bank shares were worth more than £40 each in March last year but have sunk to £5.33 by this morning, which followed a profit warning on its results earlier this year.

Mortgage Solutions has contacted Metro Bank for comment on the situation.

 

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