Sunday 1 March 2020 10:29 pm

Metro Bank to revoke private jet access for new chair after year of turmoil

Metro Bank will not allow its new leadership to take private jet flights, as it takes its reshuffle at the top as an opportunity to reduce costs.

The previous arrangement for founder Vernon Hill to expense private jet flights to the company was “specific to him” and unlikely to be repeated, the Telegraph first reported.

However, the company has not yet to appointed a new chair to replace Hill, who left the board following an accounting scandal last year.

Read more: Metro Bank shares plumb new depths after challenger bank swings to £131m loss

Metro Bank has since been locked in a downward spiral, recently reporting a £131m pre-tax loss for 2019 with shares falling to 160.7p.

The bank, founded by Hill in 2010, markets itself as an accessible high street lender. Customers are able to set up accounts without a pre-booked appointment, and bring dogs inside branches.

Metro Bank also attracted controversy for a partnership with Interarch last summer, an architecture firm set up by Hill’s wife.

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The bank severed ties with the company, which it had paid £21m, under pressure from investors.

Dan Frumkin, a former RBS and Northern Rock banker who was appointed as Metro Bank’s permanent chief executive two weeks ago, told the Telegraph he thinks it is “highly, highly unlikely” that Hill’s replacement will be offered a similar expenses limit.

In a statement however, the company defended its founder.

“It was an allowance for him to use [as] he chose to use it,” a spokesperson for the company said.

Read more: Metro Bank chairman Vernon Hill insists ‘best is yet to come’ after quitting with immediate effect

They also supported the future expense arrangements of Hill’s successor.

“When we get a new chair, it will be in the reported accounts,” the spokesperson added.

“In line with our policy, travel and expenses incurred in the normal course of business, for example in relation to attendance at board and committee meetings, will be met by the bank.”