Metro Bank is facing a possible shareholder revolt over the re-appointment of its president and founder following multi-million pound payments made to a company owned by his wife.
Royal London Asset Management, said that he was concerned about whether the Subway was getting a good value for the use of Interarch.
The firm is owned by Shirley Hill, the wife of the president of Metro, Vernon Hill.
In 2017, the Metro £4.1 m to Interarch for the architectural design, branding and marketing.
Challenger bank Metro will hold its annual general meeting in London on Tuesday evening, where, between a series of resolutions, the investors are going to vote on the re-appointment of d. Hill.
The shareholder advisory group Glass Lewis has advised investors to vote against the Lord of the Hill for re-election. The scrutiny of the concerns
Ashley Hamilton Claxton, the head of responsible investing at Royal London Asset Management, which has a 0.44% stake in Metro Bank, said it was concerned about the monitoring of payments to Interarch.
She told the BBC’s Today programme: “The concern is whether the company has had enough scrutiny as to whether they are receiving value for the money for the payments.”
As well as the payment for the year 2017, Metro Bank also gave £3.1 m at Interarch in the year above and in its prospectus prior to its flotation on the London stock exchange, said it paid £2.3 m to the Lady of the Hill of the company for the marketing and architectural services in the year 2015.
Under the agreement, Interarch could also claim up to £ 2,000 a month for their services.
Metro Bank, said: “Metro Bank has a premium listing on the London stock exchange and is therefore fully compliant with the uk Corporate Governance Code by the Financial Reporting Council.”
Ms Hamilton Claxton added: “We have also had some concerns in the sense that Mr. Hill was also studied in the united states for similar payments to his wife’s firm when he was director of a company there.”
Mr. Hill founded Commerce Bank in the united states, who left in 2007, when the members of the board voted to remove him.
The New York Times reported that the bank had paid Interarch around $ 50 million over 10 years to the decoration and design Trade of the Bank’s branches.
Metro Bank repeatedly states in its prospectus and subsequent annual reports in accordance with Interarch is subject to a review by its audit committee to ensure that it is “materially consistent with those that could be obtained from an independent third party”.
However, Ms Hamilton Claxton said that Royal London will also vote against the re-appointment of Stuart Bernau, who is the chairman of Metro Bank’s audit committee.
She said: “I guess the question is do we believe that the board is in a position to provide a fair, responsible and objective of oversight of payment and the question is because the company is linked to the president of the company, we would like to additional scrutiny of payments.”
A spokesman for Metro Bank, said: “Interarch provides architecture, design and trademark services to the bank. The audit committee has a strong review and evaluation of the ongoing processes conducted by authorised independent third parties to ensure that conditions are favorable for the bank. This process has been in place since the Metro Bank building and is disclosed in our Annual Report.”
While Ms Hamilton Claxton said that it was unlikely that Mr. Hill would be unseated, she said: “the reason for the vote against is to register our concern, and then have a dialogue with the company.”