Metro Bank shares plunged to a record low after a WhatsApp hoax triggered panicked customers to rush in pulling their cash out.
Shares in the bank hit a new low of 475p apiece after it closed 11% lower on Monday (May 13).
Metro Bank Whatsapp hoax message
The Whatsapp hoax message that almost brought a giant bank down read
“Urgent. Guys if anyone has Metro Bank account with money or locker. You need to empty as soon as possible.”
The message claimed that the bank is “facing a lot of financial difficulties and may be shut down or going bankrupt”.
Pictures of long queues of customers in several branches in London circulated over the weekend, as a result.
According to reports, about five to six branches have experienced a busier business than usual. The bank, however, denied claims that the majority of customers emptied their accounts.
Metro Bank denied rumours
The bank, which has nearly 2 million customers and 67 branches nationwide, has since tagged the message as false. It maintained that there is no cause for concern.
“We’re aware there were increased queries in some stores over the weekend about safe deposit boxes following false rumors about Metro Bank on social media and messaging apps,” said a bank’s spokeswoman.
“There is no truth to these rumors 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, ” she added
The full text of the WhatsApp message 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 have 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.”