Thursday 25 July 2019 11:05 am

Metro Bank share price plummets in wake of profit drop and departure of chair

Metro Bank’s share price hit an all time low this morning, as investors fretted over the troubled lender’s news that profits have fallen and its founder is stepping down as chairman.

Shares in the high street challenger bank plummeted 16 per cent to 400p in early morning trading.

Read more: Metro Bank’s Vernon Hill is set to step down

The under-fire firm reported a sharp drop in profits for the six months to June, during a period which was mired by investor and customer uncertainty in the wake of a major balance sheet blunder.

Pre-tax profits plunged to £3.4m in the first half of 2019, plummeting from £20.8m a year earlier. Customers also withdrew £2bn of desposits.

Vernon Hill, the 73-year-old American billionaire who founded the self-styled the dog-friendly high street bank, also confirmed his plans to depart from his role as chairman last night as part of a management shake-up.

The hunt for Hill’s successor is being launched amid a flurry of new appointments that the firm has made in recent days, as it looks to bolster its senior ranks in the wake of its recent crisis.

This week’s reshuffle is the first since the firm spooked the City by January by cutting its growth plans and revealing an accountancy error in which some loans had been classified as less risky than they were.

Metro Bank’s share price has crash more than 75 per cent since the revelation, which prompted fears of a regulatory crackdown and wider questions over Metro Bank’s business model.

In the months since discovering the problem, the lender has asked investors for £375m in an emergency cash call to shore up its finances.

Read more: Former banker Sajid Javid becomes chancellor

The company’s share price edged down four per cent last night, as investor caution mounted ahead of the firm’s results which were released after trading closed.