By Elena Vardon

Metro Bank Holdings is currently exploring options for a capital raise but has not yet reached a decision, the company stated after its shares took a significant hit from press reports regarding its plans.

As of 0840 GMT, shares were down 11.9 pence, or 24%, at 38.6 pence. This decrease marks a 68% drop since the beginning of the year.

The U.K. lender announced on Thursday that it is still evaluating how to effectively manage its capital resources.

"The company is currently assessing the benefits of various options, which include equity issuance, debt issuance and/or refinancing, as well as asset sales," explained an official statement in response to Wednesday's press speculation. The speculation caused the company's shares to plummet by as much as 32% to record lows during morning trade.

However, Metro Bank stressed that no final decision has been made regarding whether to proceed with any of these options.

The London-listed group affirmed its commitment to meeting regulatory capital requirements.

It further highlighted that it achieved profitability on an underlying basis for the three quarters that ended on June 30. The company is optimistic about sustaining this positive momentum with growth in its personal and business current accounts, as well as customer acquisition. These details will be addressed in the upcoming third-quarter update which is expected to align with market expectations.

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