RBS accused of being unfair to small borrowers
21 April 2014
An investigation commissioned by taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland into its treatment of small firms has been accused of ignoring offers of information from businesses that claim to have been affected by its lending policies.
The report of the investigation, prepared by law group Clifford Chance had been hailed by RBS as clearing it of any wrongdoing. Critics have slammed the investigation as being partial.
This weekend saw lawyers acting for firms that claimed to have been mistreated, saying their offer to present evidence had been ignored.
The investigation into the treatment of small firms by the lender came after Lawrence Tomlinson, a UK Department for Business adviser, drew up his own report which said the bank was exploiting vulnerable firms for its own profit.
Alison Loveday, managing director of independent law firm Berg, whose clients include about 150 businesses that say they were mistreated, told mailonline he wrote to Clifford Chance to provide information about his clients' complaints but he did not hear from it.
Loveday added, it seemed Clifford Chance was closing its eyes to the evidence or had limited the scope of what it was looking for.
Meanwhile, the bank is considering legal action against Tomlinson for the damning report.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, the bank could have grounds to pursue a libel action against Tomlinson after the inquiry.
In the report, Clifford Chance said it found ''no evidence'' to back up the most serious accusations made by Tomlinson.
The newspaper quoted Jon Pain, the head of regulatory affairs at RBS, as saying, the damage had already been done and whether Tomlinson offered any retraction or apology was a matter for him.
He added, these were the most serious allegations RBS had faced since the crisis and damaged RBS's brand and undoubtedly harmed the value of the taxpayer's interest.