METRO BANK TO CUT 20% OF ITS WORKFORCE – Bank is also set to review seven day opening

Metro Bank has revealed plans to cut 20% of its workforce and slash its business hours commitments as part of efforts to save it from collapse.

The struggling challenger lender, which announced a £30m cost-cutting plan last month, said it was now targeting £50m in annual savings amid wider efforts to shore up its balance sheet.

It employs about 4,000 staff, meaning it expects to lose around 800 people under the plans.

Metro, which earlier this week received shareholder approval for a £925m refinancing and recapitalisation plan, is also in talks to sell a £3bn mortgage book.

Metro said the cost reduction action was expected to be completed early in 2024.

It forecast a a one-off charge of up to £15m which, a statement said, would be booked in the current financial year.

The bank, which was founded in 2010, has about 2.7 million customers and 75 branches in the UK.

It has looked to capitalise on public anger over high street branch closures by mainstream banks since the financial crisis by focusing purely on branch services – opening seven days per week.

However, it has struggled to recover from a blunder in 2019 that saw £900m in loans misclassified, sparking an investor and deposit outflow at the time.

Separately, it announced that three board members would step down at the end of the year, leaving the board with five non-executive and two executive directors.