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Metro Bank to swallow £1.8m loss on £521m loan book sale

  • 25/07/2019
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Metro Bank to swallow £1.8m loss on £521m loan book sale
Metro Bank has sold its retail buy-to-let portfolio of £521m to an affiliate of US hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management and will book an £1.8m loss in Q3, “reflecting the difference between the sale price and the carrying amount on the balance sheet”.


The disposal was confirmed as the bank released performance figures for H1 2019, showing gross lending of £15,020m at end-June 2019, up five per cent on end-December 2018 and 25 per cent higher against end-June 2018.

Metro Bank’s statement said of the sale: “This was not considered a strategic portfolio, with its sale having no impact on our customer franchise given it has continually been serviced by an external provider.”

The company’s first-half was dominated by the fallout of its admission in January that it had wrongly categorised a chunk of loans as not risk-weighed.

The bank raised £375m to shore up its capital position in May and is rebalancing its mix of business.

Chairman Vernon Hill (pictured) agreed to step down yesterday after pressure from regulators and certain investors.

The gross lending figure for the first half comprised £10,412 of residential mortgages, up 32 per cent on H1 2018.

Commercial lending growth was “impacted by the planned disposal”, the company said.

“In line with our strategy to rebalance our lending mix to optimise capital efficiency, loans to commercial customers reduced to 29 per cent of lending as of 30 June 2019, down from 31 per cent at end-December 2018,” the statement said.

Underlying profit before tax dropped 44 per cent to £13.6m year on year and profit before tax dived by 84 per cent to £3.4m

“This has been a challenging first half, with deposit outflows following intense speculation at the time of our capital raise in May. Despite this, personal and business current accounts get and revenues and fees increased. Deposit growth returned to normal in June and July to date,” said Craig Donaldson, Metro Bank chief executive.

Chairman and founder Vernon Hill added: “Our upsized £375m equity raise was significantly oversubscribed by new and existing investors showing confidence in our strategy.”

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