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Metro Bank loans flat as mortgage lending cut offsets consumer loan growth

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside of a Metro Bank in London
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(Reuters) -Metro Bank said on Wednesday third-quarter net loans were at similar levels to the previous quarter, as a reduction in the British lender's exposure to lower-yielding residential mortgages offset growth in unsecured consumer lending.

"We are seeing signs of a gradual return to normality and have adopted a hybrid way of working for office-based colleagues," Chief Executive Officer Daniel Frumkin said.

Metro, one of the newer banks set up to rival Britain's traditional lenders, has been focussing on consumer lending as it strives to turn a profit since a major accounting error in 2019.

"While Metro's loans and deposits are, at Q3, below the run-rate needed to achieve our second half 2021 forecast , the level and mix are likely net interest margin and capital positive," Jefferies analysts, who have a 'buy' rating on the stock, said.

Total net loans were 12.32 billion pounds ($16.98 billion) in the three months to September, broadly flat compared with the 12.33 billion pounds as of June 30. Deposits dipped 1% to 16.41 billion pounds.

Credit impairments were benign, in line with half-year forecast, Metro added.

($1 = 0.7257 pounds)

(Reporting by Chris Peters and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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