Craig Donaldson, who has been Metro Bank’s chief executive since 2009, is to step down after leading the bank through what the bank described in a press statement as a “challenging period”.

The challenger bank said Donaldson is to stay on as an advisor to the board until the end of 2020.

Dan Frumkin, who joined Metro Bank in September 2019 as chief transformation officer, has been appointed to the board as interim chief executive from 1 January 2020.

The board also announced plans to search for a new chief executive and will consider both internal and external candidates.

Metro Bank has also appointed Daniel Frumkin as a director of its asset finance subsidiary, SME Asset Finance Ltd.

The two appointments are subject to regulatory approval.

The Companies House filing brings the number of directors at the assets finance subsidiary to three. Frumkin will join David Arden, chief finance officer, and Mark Stokes, director.

Sir Michael Snyder, chairman of Metro Bank, thanked Donaldson for his “steadfast leadership” of the bank over the past 10 years. He said: “My priority is to appoint a permanent CEO and to appoint new NEDs to the board who will bring even more retail banking experience. I look forward to steering the bank as we define and start to deliver the next chapter.”

The departing CEO said: “I committed to working with the board until we felt that the bank was sufficiently strong for me to step away. This has been achieved and as Metro Bank looks to the future, we have reached that point where I am confident that the board and the many dedicated teams within Metro Bank will enable this Bank to prosper again.”

Frumkin added: “We are working hard to evaluate the bank’s future plans and we will be in a position to update the market in February.”

Frumkin, 55, most recently spent eight years at The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited, a full-service community bank based in Bermuda, as their global chief operating officer and prior to that as global chief risk officer. He has previously held roles at RBS and Northern Rock.