The FCA has fined Metro Bank PLC £10 million for breaches of Listing Rule 1.3.3R (misleading information not to be published). This follows the warning notice issued to Metro Bank in January 2022 (but only published in March 2022).
The FCA has also provisionally fined Metro Bank’s former CEO and former CFO £223,100 and £134,600, respectively, for being knowingly concerned in Metro Bank’s breach. Both individuals have referred their Decision Notices to the Upper Tribunal – their Decision Notices are therefore provisional.
In summary, the FCA has determined that:
- Metro Bank, which is a premium listed company, published inaccurate information concerning its risk weighted assets (RWA) in an announcement issued on 24 October 2018 and its former CEO and CFO were knowingly concerned in the breach by Metro Bank;
- in the period leading up to the announcement, Metro Bank had acknowledged the RWA error internally and recognised that it should be remediated – by 11 September 2018, Metro Bank had also received confirmation from independent external consultants that an incorrect risk weighting had been applied;
- at the time of the announcement, an ongoing review was being conducted to determine the amount of the necessary correction, but Metro Bank was aware that it would be substantial. Despite this, Metro Bank failed to consider the need to address these matters in the announcement or otherwise qualify the inaccurate RWA figure, or to seek appropriate advice; and
- in publishing the announcement, Metro Bank breached Listing Rule 1.3.3R by failing to take reasonable care to ensure that it was not misleading, false or deceptive and did not omit anything likely to affect the import of the information.