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‘Pingdemic’ caused slowdown at Metro Bank in July

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Metro Bank has increased its loan book and customer deposits (Tim Goode/PA) (PA Archive)
Metro Bank has increased its loan book and customer deposits (Tim Goode/PA) (PA Archive)

The boss of Metro Bank has said the pickup in activity the bank saw in May and June slowed down as people were forced to self-isolate following contact with a Covid sufferer.

Daniel Frumkin said that it has also been hard for managers to plan around the orders that staff are getting to stay at home from the NHS’s pandemic app.

“We have definitely seen a pickup in activity in the economy since it started to reopen, our stores are a bit busier. We actually saw a pretty good FX (currency exchange) volume in the month of May and again a bit in June,” he said.

“The pingdemic in July has kind of slowed things down. Even from an operational perspective, managing through the number of people who have to self-isolate, including myself, over the last few weeks, has been a challenge.”

The bank slashed its pre-tax losses by around £100 million to just under £139 million in the opening six months of the year.

“So we’re already starting to see a reduction in the losses. Now I accept the losses are still significant, I’m not making light of them, we have a lot of work to do,” Mr Frumkin said on a call with reporters.

The bank increased its loan book to £12.3 billion, up 2% since the end of December. Most of this came after the bank bought loans from RateSetter a peer-to-peer lender, in February.

Customer deposits also increased in this period, by 3% to £16.6 billion, the business said.

Shailesh Raikundlia, an analyst at Liberum, said: “Overall, a decent quarter with revenue benefiting from non-lending assets than our forecasts, but we continue to expect the bank to be loss-making for the foreseeable future.”

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