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Metro Bank’s Vernon Hill survives shareholder rebellion

Written by: Owain Thomas
Metro Bank chairman and founder Vernon Hill has survived a shareholder rebellion over the £21m of services contracted to his wife’s design and architecture firm.

Earlier this month Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) said it would be voting against Hill’s reappointment as chairman and his remuneration, alongside several other motions, at the bank’s annual general meeting (AGM).

However, RLAM appears to have been unable to gain much support from fellow shareholders as all the resolutions proposed at the AGM yesterday were passed with at least 93% support.

After the AGM, Hill said: “We are grateful for the continued overwhelming support demonstrated today by our investors.

“Every resolution was passed by 93% or more, proof our investors continue to support the strategic direction and robust governance framework of Metro Bank.”

Mortgage loan book

Metro Bank has also revealed it grew its residential mortgage loan book, including an asset purchase, by £1.1bn in the first three months of 2018 to £7.3bn, however the lender has not published a gross lending figure for the quarter.

Its book was boosted by the purchase of a £523m buy-to-let loan portfolio from Capital Home Loans in February.

Metro Bank said: “The purchased portfolio consists predominantly of seasoned mortgages and has a similar credit risk profile to our current loan book.”

Last month it also announced its expansion into Scotland.

Overall the bank saw pre-tax profits rise to £10m, up 21% from £8.3m in the final three months of 2017, however following the figures its share price dropped 11% in morning trading to 3,118p.

Twelve store openings are planned for 2018 starting with its 56th store in Watford in May as the bank continues to expand.

In the first quarter, Metro Bank saw a 69% growth in all lending and 41% growth in deposits year-on-year with 88,000 new customer accounts.

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