By Emma-Victoria Farr and Shanima A

LONDON (Reuters) -British challenger lender Metro Bank said on Friday it has appointed former Standard Chartered executive James Hopkinson as chief financial officer, as the bank works on a turnaround plan towards profitability.

Hopkinson will join Metro Bank effective September 5, coming from ClearBank where he was CFO since 2019. Previously he spent nearly 20 years at Standard Chartered, in roles including CFO Regions & Clients, CFO Global Retail Banking and Global Head of Investor Relations.

“James brings a wealth of experience in retail banking with a proven track record of growing businesses and managing finance teams,” Metro Bank chief executive Daniel Frumkin said.

The London-based bank said in February it was cautious on its outlook due to the cost of living squeeze in Britain driven by higher energy prices, tax hikes and inflation.

Metro Bank, which in 2010 became the first lender to be granted a high-street banking licence in Britain in 150 years, has had a tumultuous few years after an accounting scandal in 2019 weighed on its shares and prompted probes by UK regulators.

The Bank of England in December 2021 also fined Metro for the accounting problem after it said the group presented an inaccurate picture of its regulatory capital in regulatory returns between May 2016 and Jan 2019.

Since the accounting scandal, the lender has launched a turnaround plan focussing on cost controls and revenue and margin growth.

“The progress made on the turnaround plan to date has been impressive and I look forward to helping take the Bank into its next phase of growth and towards sustainable profitability,” said Hopkinson on Friday.

Analysts at RBC Capital estimate Metro to break even at some point between 2023 and 2024.

(Reporting by Emma-Victoria Farr in London and Shanima A in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Simon Cameron-Moore)