The finance boss of troubled Metro Bank has made a shock exit after a turbulent 12 months.
James Hopkinson, chief financial officer, will step down from the British lender just months after it was bailed out following concerns over its balance sheet.
Metro Bank said in a statement yesterday that Cristina Alba Ochoa will act as interim finance chief from next week, adding that it has started looking for a permanent successor.
Hopkinson will leave the bank during the first quarter ‘after a period of handover,’ the firm said.
But his departure is yet another blow for Metro in what has been a rocky few years. The latest crisis engulfed the lender in September when it revealed it had failed to persuade the Bank of England it could be trusted to hold less cash against its mortgage risks. This sparked a major sell-off, which saw shares plunge 50 per cent in the weeks that followed.
In October it secured a £925m lifeline that included the sale of £150m of new shares as well as £175m of debt on top of a £600m refinancing of existing loans.
This bailout effectively handed control to its largest shareholder, Colombian billionaire Jaime Gilinski Bacal, who provided the bank with a £102m cash injection and saw his stake balloon from just over 9 per cent to 53 per cent.
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The bank – founded in 2010 – has said it would axe around 800 jobs as part of a cost-cutting mission.
Shares fell 2.8 per cent, or 1p to 36p, yesterday.
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