METRO Bank has been forced to squash rumours circulating on social media platforms such as WhatsApp that it’s in financial difficulty.
It comes after the bank admits it’s received “increased queries in some stores” about safe deposit boxes held with the bank.
Alamy Metro Bank has urged customers not to panic
All 66 branches of Metro Bank around the country allow customers to use safety deposit boxes.
But pictures posted on Twitter over the weekend reveal long queues in some branches, which seem to indicate people withdrawing money and items from safety deposit boxes on mass.
Some have likened the queues to those seen outside of Northern Rock branches at the height of the 2008 financial crash.
Metro Bank says this was a “localised” scare.
Is my cash safe?UNDER the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), cash in accounts held with Metro Bank is protected up to £85,000 per person.
Temporary high balances up to £1million are also covered under the scheme for up to six months from when the amount was first deposited.
This could be where you’ve come into an inheritance or just sold a house, for example.
So if the bank were to go under, you could get your money back from the FSCS.
Metro Bank adds that items held in safety deposit boxes belong to the owner. So again, if the bank did fail, you should be able to get your items back as the bank can’t use them as collateral to pay off creditors.
One customer tweeted yesterday morning: “Long qs in the Metro Bank today to take out their money. Seems a lot of people are spooked about having another Northern Rock on their hands.
“Be interesting what Metro does to counter people panicking”.
Another Twitter user wrote: “Why is there massive queues in Metro Bank Bromley with people emptying safe deposit boxes and accounts?”
Someone else, whose Twitter profile says they’re from London, wrote: “Just walked up my local high street. Long queue outside Metro Bank. Not a good look”.
But cash held with Metro Bank is protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme – see the box above for more information.
A handful of Metro Bank customers have tweeted about long queues in stores
A Metro Bank spokesperson told The Sun: “We’re aware there were increased queries in some stores 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 no.1 for personal current account service by the Competition and Markets Authority and committed to serving our 1.7million customer accounts.”
It comes as the bank’s share price has dropped from a high of £35.12 this year to a slump of £5 today.
But LBC’s city commentator, David Buik, told the radio station that customers shouldn’t panic.
Hargreaves Lansdown Metro Bank’s share price has taken a tumble this year from £35 to £5
He said: “It [Metro Bank] requires some extra capital, about £350million, which they are going to have to get from their shareholders to meet the regulatory requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority.
“Unfortunately, as you can imagine, there has been quite a run on deposits which have left the bank.
“But this is not a time for panic. This is a time for a pragmatic outlook.
“Let’s hope [chief executive] Craig Donaldson does manage to raise the money quickly and put the matter to bed.
“I suspect the chairman of Metro Bank, Vernon Hill, who’s a pretty flamboyant character, may well not be able to stay on as chairman indefinitely.”
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Metro Bank customers were warned last year over a “covert” Google scam which saw Mexican fraudsters emptying bank accounts.
But earlier this month the bank launched a new top-paying 2 per cent savings account – although you have to lock cash away for a year.
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