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Monday, November 29, 2021

Metro Bank’s biggest City shareholder sells stake as private equity buyer walks away

Metro Bank’s shares soared by a third after it emerged earlier this month that Carlyle had its eye on the challenger bank, which is trying to revive its fortunes after an accounting scandal in 2019 caused an investor revolt and the eventual exit of its former chief executive and chairman.

There were hopes that an offer from Carlyle could trigger a long-awaited wave of consolidation in the challenger bank sector. However Metro Bank’s shares slid last week after Carlyle pulled out of talks, which were at an early stage. Since its stock market float in 2016, when the lender was valued at £1.6bn, shareholders have seen 95pc of their investment vanish.

Mr Hill, a former golfing buddy of Donald Trump, had a loyal set of backers in the US when he created the high-street bank, including billionaire Steven Cohen. However Mr Cohen, once the lender’s biggest backer, has also reduced his investment since the accounting scandal.

A Metro Bank spokesman said: “It is not appropriate for us to comment on the investment decisions of our shareholders.”

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