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Billionaire Steven A. Cohen cuts stake in Britain's Metro Bank again

FILE PHOTO: People walk past a Metro Bank in London

(Reuters) - Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve A. Cohen has cut his stake in Britain's Metro Bank <MTRO.L> for the fifth time in just over two months following a difficult year in which the lender was engulfed in a damaging accounting scandal.

Cohen and two private investment vehicles cut their stake in the lender on Feb. 5 to 4.97% from 5.81%, a filing showed on Monday.

Cohen, once Metro Bank's biggest backer, and associated entities held 9.86% of the company's shares before Nov. 22.

Known for its glossy branch network and customer perks such as pet treats and weekend opening hours, Metro is under investigation by regulators after disclosing it had under-reported its exposure to higher-risk loans by almost 1 billion pounds.

Metro hired a law firm to help it investigate payments routed through the bank that breached U.S. sanctions, a regulatory filing last September (not Feb. 5) showed.

(This story corrects final para to say a filing last September (not Feb. 5) showed Metro Bank had hired a law firm)

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)