Metro seeks injection of new blood to its board after accounting error

metro bank

Metro Bank is seeking to beef up its board by bringing in new directors, including candidates who could potentially replace Vernon Hill as chairman.

Metro has endured a challenging year after admitting mistakes over the way it categorised loans to landlords and companies, sparking a dramatic fall in its share price.

The search for new directors comes after Metro shored up its finances last month with a £375 million capital raising. The Prudential Regulation Authority now wants Metro to clarify when Mr Hill, 73, will stand down as part of an overhaul of the bank’s culture and business model.

Mr Hill, an American billionaire, set up Metro in 2010, winning the first new banking licence in Britain for 150 years. Metro has grown into a familiar feature on streets in southern England, with 67 branches and 1.7 million customers.

Several City figures have been approached about joining Metro’s board and asked if they would be interested in becoming its next chairman, according to sources. Those pushing for a new chairman have also met resistance from Mr Hill, who does not want to step down imminently.

The Financial Conduct Authority and PRA are investigating the accounting error. The PRA may impose additional capital requirements on Metro as a result of the mistake.

Metro said: “As set out in the 2018 Annual Report, the board continues its proactive search for additional independent NED candidates. There is no search underway for a new chairman.”

John Cronin, an analyst at Goodbody, said: “Metro Bank board could potentially make some changes from a risk management and governance perspective.

“Certain board changes would be likely to be seen by the PRA as constructive in this respect.”