Metro Bank latest bank to be hit with fine over financial wrongdoing

By John Reynolds on Wednesday 22 December 2021

Digital Banking

Metro Bank has been hit with the £5.38m fine, which relates to failures in its regulatory reporting, after the bank revealed an accounting mistake in 2019.

Metro Bank latest bank to be hit with fine over financial wrongdoing
Image source: Metro Bank.

Metro Bank has become the latest bank to be fined by the banking authorities over financial wrongdoing after the Bank of England punished it with a multi-million pound fine.

Metro Bank, often hailed as one of the first and most successful UK fintechs, has been hit with the £5.38m fine. 

The fine relates to failures in its regulatory reporting, after the bank revealed an accounting mistake in 2019.

The challenger bank, set up in 2010, misreported the value of its commercial loan portfolio that wiped £800m of the bank’s value and also saw its shares plunge by over 40 per cent.

The bank’s blunder saw customers queue outside branches to withdraw their money from the bank, as it tried to raise £350m to correct the accounting mistake.  

Sam Woods, of the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) said: “We expect firms to invest appropriate and adequate resources to ensure that they submit accurate regulatory returns. 

“In this case, Metro Bank failed to meet the standards of governance and controls expected of it, resulting in today’s enforcement action."

The PRA said that before 2019, the bank had “pursued” a “rapid growth and expansion plan”.

But that it had “failed to ensure the commensurate development of, and investment in, governance arrangements and systems and controls”.

It added: “Metro Bank agreed to resolve this matter and therefore qualified for a 30 per cent reduction in the fine imposed by the PRA. Without this discount, the fine imposed by the PRA would have been £7,680,000.”

Metro Bank said it agreed with the decision and it had since made "significant improvements to and substantial investment in its regulatory reporting processes and controls".

The fine for Metro Bank follows just days after the PRA fined Standard Chartered £46.55m.

The PRA said the FTSE 100 lender repeatedly misreported its liquidity position and failed to be "open and cooperative".

It was the biggest fine the PRA has ever dished out in a case where it was the only watchdog involved.

HSBC and NatWest have also recently been hit with fines over financial wrongdoing, specifically linked to money laundering.

Sign up for our newsletters


Your daily 7am download of all things alternative finance and fintech.

Fintech and alternative finance headlines with an exclusive Editor's Note each week. Delivered Monday at midday.

AltFi's new weekly US newsletter breaking down the ins and outs of America's burgeoning fintech sector. Delivered Monday 9am EST/ 6am PST.


Companies in this Article:

Bank of England
HSBC
Metro Bank
NatWest Group