A leading institutional investor has cashed in its shares at struggling lender Metro Bank after a US private equity buyer walked out on talks.
Legal & General was previously the bank’s biggest City shareholder but has now slipped out of its top 20 list, selling its stake in the bank twice in recent weeks including the day before a potential buyer walked out on talks to takeover the bank.
Last week US private equity giant Carlyle walked away from talks to buy British high street lender Metro Bank, prompting markets to spit out the lender as shares plummeted 19 per cent on Thursday.
An L&G spokesman told The Telegraph that the sell off was “part of an ongoing wider reduction of a large basket of stocks across index funds” and not an active decision.
In 2019 the company led an investor rebellion to prevent Metro Bank’s billionaire founder and former chairman Vernon Hill from being re-elected amid corporate governance concerns. Two years ago the challenger bank was eyeing up expansion plans, but faced a revolt amid an accounting scandal which reversed its fortunes.
In the first half of 2021 the bank reported a statutory loss before tax of £138.9m.