Metro Bank founder re-elected despite executive pay concerns

Metro Bank staved off calls from advisory bodies to reject founder Vernon Hill’s election at its annual general meeting (AGM), but shareholders raised their frustrations over executive pay.

More than 20% of votes were cast against the firm’s remuneration report, days after the challenger bank was forced to raise more funds on the back of an accounting blunder in January.

Metro Bank secured £375 million from investors last week, following the loans blunder which left it short of the capital it needed to grow and led to a steep fall in share value.

A fifth of shareholders registered their anger by voting against executive pay plans which will give chief executive Craig Donaldson a £750,000 pay packet, CFO David Arden a £405,000 packet and Mr Hill a £385,000 packet.

The remuneration report passed with 79.3% of votes in its favour at the meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Shareholders in the bank, including its largest European backer Legal & General Investment Management, publicly announced plans to vote against Mr Hill.

However, only 12.3% of the 71,260,810 total votes were against the re-election of Mr Hill, who started the high street bank in 2009.

Shareholders vented greater frustration against directors Stuart Bernau and Gene Lockhart, who each saw around 28% of shareholder votes made against their re-election.

Prior to the meeting, shareholder advisory group ISS highlighted that accountability for the loans error sat with the pair, as well as Mr Hill and Mr Donaldson.

Last week the lender was also forced to quash rumours of fresh financial trouble after warnings spread across social media.

The bank branded the rumours false after concerned customers rushed to branches in London to withdraw cash and safe deposit boxes.

Shares in the company jumped 7.5% to 705.5p at the close of trading on Tuesday.

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