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Metro Bank boss to stand down after torrid year

By Holly Williams, PA Deputy City Editor

The boss of under-fire Metro Bank will step down at the end of 2019 after a bruising year for the high street lender.

Craig Donaldson will hand over the reins to chief transformation officer Dan Frumkin, who will step up as interim chief executive on January 1, just months after joining the bank.

Mr Donaldson leaves after a decade in the job, but is set to remain as an adviser to the board until the end of next year.

Metro Bank has launched the hunt for a permanent chief executive.

It comes after Metro Bank founder and chairman Vernon Hill stood down in October after months of pressure from investors and as the lender’s troubles mounted.

Metro Bank’s shares have been decimated since the start of 2019 after it revealed a £900 million accounting blunder in January.

The bank’s troubles were compounded when it was forced to abandon a bond offer, initially planned to secure £250 million.

The group relaunched fundraising plans earlier in October, looking to raise £300 million, which soared to around £475 million on strong demand from investors.

But since then, the group revealed it swung to a £2.2 million loss in the third quarter, from profits of £15.1 million a year earlier.

So far this year, its profits have fallen by 71%, compared with the first nine months of 2018, to £11.3 million.

Mr Donaldson said: “I am proud of Metro Bank’s achievements during the past decade.

“From a standing start, we brought something very different to banking for customers and colleagues.

“While this has undoubtedly been a challenging year, it has been a privilege to serve.”

He said he had committed to work until the bank was on a firm financial footing, adding this had now been achieved.

Sir Michael Snyder, chairman of Metro Bank, paid tribute to Mr Donaldson and said his priority was to appoint a permanent chief executive and new non-executive directors “who will bring even more retail banking experience”.

Mr Donaldson will be paid his salary, pensions and benefits during his year’s notice period, but has waived any potential bonus for 2018 and will not receive any payouts for 2019 or 2020.

Mr Frumkin, 55, will be paid £690,000 a year as interim chief executive.