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Metro Bank raises £375m to ease capital worries on BTL loan book

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  • 17/05/2019
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Metro Bank raises £375m to ease capital worries on BTL loan book
Metro Bank has raised £375m in capital from shareholders through a discounted share offer to cover further capital requirements after it assigned a much lower risk weighting to its mortgage lending portfolio than it should have.

 

The move was welcomed by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) which along with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been investigating the lender since errors in its capital requirements were uncovered.

Metro Bank was found to have 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 exceeded its original target of £350m which it put down to “strong demand from both existing and new shareholders”.

The new shares were offered at 500p each, a 5.2% discount to the preceding five-day average closing price as at 16 May 2019.

Metro Bank shares were worth more than £40 each in March last year but the bank has seen a significant prolonged slide, which included a profit warning on its results earlier this year.

 

Challenging months

Under-pressure founder and chairman Vernon Hill admitted the bank had faced “challenges” in the past few months, but believed the successful capital raising showed it had not lost investor confidence.

In a statement to the stock exchange, Hill said: “I am really pleased with the support we have received from both existing and new shareholders, and for their confidence and belief in Metro Bank’s strategy.

“The placing was significantly oversubscribed and as a consequence we raised a total of £375m.

“Although we’ve faced challenges in the past few months, we remain fully focused on providing the outstanding service and convenience that our customers expect of us.

“This growth capital will enable us to continue to expand the business and implement our strategic initiatives,” he added.

The PRA added: “The Prudential Regulation Authority welcomes the steps taken today by Metro Bank.

“Metro Bank is profitable and continues to have adequate capital and liquidity to serve its current customer base. It has raised additional capital in order to fund future growth.”

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