Published On: Tue, May 14th, 2019

Metro Bank share price: WhatsApp HOAX – see the text which spread PANIC among customers


The Metro Bank Whatsapp message read: “Urgent. Guys if anyone has Metro Bank account with money or locker. You need to empty as soon as possible.” Customers were pictured rushing to several branches in London over the weekend after the social media text incorrectly claimed the bank is “facing a lot of financial difficulties and may be shut down or going bankrupt”. The warning went on to instruct shoppers to empty their accounts and lockers “as soon as possible”. Metro Bank, which has 1.7 million customers and 67 branches in London and the south-east, has since labelled the message as false and denied there is cause for concern.

At least five or six branches were thought to have seen more business than usual, although the bank claims the majority of people did not pull their cash out.

The full text of the WhatsApp message, reported by Business Insider, read: “Urgent. Guys if anyone has Metro Bank account with money or locker. You need to empty as soon as possible.

“The bank is facing a lot of financial difficulties and may be shut down or going bankrupt.

“Their share price and market capital has dropped by 85 per cent since last year and they may not get funding.

“If your money or locker gets trapped [it] might be harder to pull money out or even loss [sic].

“Please withdraw all lockers and keep in a safe place.”

A Metro Bank spokeswoman said: “We’re aware there were increased queries in some stores over the weekend about safe deposit boxes following false rumours about Metro Bank on social media and messaging apps.

“There is no truth to these rumours and we want to reassure our customers that there is no reason to be concerned.

“We’re a profitable bank, rated number one for personal current account service by the Competition and Markets Authority and committed to serving our 1.7m customer accounts.”

Shares in the bank closed 11 percent down on Monday to a new low of 475p per share, compared to a high of £40 last year.

By 11.18am BTS this morning, the price had clawed back up to 506p per share, up 6 percent on the day.

Metro Bank has been battling to shore up confidence after a major accounting error in January wiped more than £1.5 billion off its market value.

Shortly after the blunder was uncovered, the lender revealed a plan to raise £350 million in fresh capital by a new share placing scheme, which is expected to finance further branch openings.

The bank reiterated this week that the fundraising effort is not linked to the accounting blip and said it was always part of a growth plan.

UK bank customers should always be advised that cash of up to £85,000 per financial institute is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

This applies those who have a Metro Bank current account.

Should anything happen to a lender, the FSCS would, in most cases, return the money held in a current account within seven working days.



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