October 23, 2019 / 4:34 PM / 20 days ago

Embattled lender Metro Bank swings to loss in third quarter

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a Metro Bank in London, Britain, May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay - RC1FD925C560/File Photo

(Reuters) - Metro Bank (MTRO.L) swung to a loss for the third quarter as the troubled lender scrambled to save face after customers began to withdraw billions of pounds following an accounting scandal earlier this year.

The accounting error, disclosed in January, has wiped nearly 90% off the company’s share value so far in 2019.

The lender reported an underlying loss before tax of £2.2 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with a profit of £15.1 million a year earlier.

That reflected the impact of steps taken to strengthen the bank’s balance sheet, including a one-off charge of 2.5 million pounds following a £521-million portfolio disposal in July.

Earlier on Wednesday, Metro Bank said its founder Vernon Hill has stepped down as chairman two months earlier than planned.

Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey

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