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Metro Bank’s biggest shareholder cuts stake again

By Amanda Cooper

US billionaire Steve Cohen lowers holding for the fifth time in two months

Metro Banks biggest shareholder cuts stake again

US billionaire Steve Cohen, Metro Bank’s largest shareholder, has cut his holding in the company for the fifth time in two months after a year of hefty losses for the British challenger bank, according to a regulatory filing.

Cohen, who owns a stake in Metro Bank, the first new UK high street bank in over 150 years, cut his holding via his private investment vehicle to 4.97 per cent from 5.81 per cent a week ago.

Metro Bank has struggled to win favour with investors since reporting a major accounting blunder a year ago. Shares in the company have fallen by more than 80 per cent in the last twelve months, compared with a 6 per cent gain in the FTSE 100 blue-chip index.

Launched a decade ago, the company has 73 of its jaunty blue and red-themed outlets on British high streets that open seven days a week and even allow pets.

However, the company is still under investigation by the UK financial regulator after revealing last year that it had under-reported its exposure to riskier loans by almost £1bn ($1.29bn, €1.19bn).

Last October, Metro was forced to raise £350 million to shore up its finances in the wake of the incident. Two months later, chief executive Craig Donaldson, who had been at the helm of the company since 2009, stepped down.

Cohen is no stranger to negative press. In 2013, he was banned from managing money for two years after his SAC Capital Advisors hedge fund pleaded guilty to insider trading and fined $1.8 billion.

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