Metro Bank has been slapped with a £10m fine for publishing incorrect information to investors, while two of its former executives have received a warning.
The lender was told to pay up by the Financial Conduct Authority for breaching rules, while its ex chief executive and chief financial officer were given fines also.
The original breach concerned the Risk Weighted Assets (RWA) in its quarterly financial results. The lender published incorrect information in October 2018.
The FCA said Metro Bank was “aware at the time that this figure was wrong and failed to qualify it or explain”.
When the correct RWA figure was announced in January 2019 it led to a 39 per cent fall in Metro Bank’s share price.
Its former CEO Craig Donaldson must hand over £223,000 while ex CFO David Arden will pay £134,600, for being “knowingly concerned” with the breach.
Mark Steward, the FCA’s executive director of enforcement and market oversight, said: “Listed firms must ensure that the information they are disclosing to the market is right. This is what investors are entitled to receive.
“The UK’s Listing Rules impose high standards on issuers and their officers which Metro Bank, Mr Donaldson and Mr Arden failed to meet in this case.”
Metro Bank accepted the ruling and has not referred it to the upper tribunal, but both Donaldson and Arden have referred their decision notices, in a bid to have them overturned.
In a statement on behalf of former Metro Bank Executives, Craig Donaldson and David Arden, the duo said:”While we’re disappointed by today’s ruling from the FCA’s Regulatory Decisions Committee we welcome the fact there is no finding of any dishonesty or criticism of our integrity.”
“We operated in full transparency with the Board and the PRA, and with the benefit of legal advice. We are appealing the decision, and until that process is complete, we will not be making further comment.”