Pressure on RBS after law firm corroborates Tomlinson Report

Published: 02/05/2014

An independent investigation into The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG) appears to substantiate the report by Lawrence Tomlinson.

RBS appointed law firm Clifford Chance, with whom it consults on all legal matters, to scrutinize its business support division after Tomlinson alleged many SMEs were wrongly placed in GRG.

The report by the London-based law firm appears to have found evidence that:

  • Some viable businesses not in default were transferred to GRG
  • RBS failed to abided by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors’ best practice in valuing customers’ commercial property
  • RBS staff threatened to withdraw overdrafts to cajole business into actions that would deliver ‘upsides’ for the bank.

It also raised questions surrounding the lack of transparency around fees, admitting it was unable to work out how the lender calculated the fees charged to customers in GRG.

Simon Cottrell, Senior Partner at Goldsmith Williams, comments:

“Eyebrows were raised when Clifford Chance were appointed to conduct this investigation; Tomlinson himself raised concerns about the conflict of interest such a move could pose. Yet even with this existing relationship, Clifford Chance appears to have drawn similar conclusion to that in the Tomlinson Report.

“There is still no direction from the Financial Conduct Authority on GRG or Business Support Units in general - perhaps these findings will provoke a further investigation – but even if it does it’s not going to happen overnight. Affected businesses must therefore take action themselves and seek specialist legal representation in order to recover redress.”

Click here for legal help and advice on Business Support Unit Claims or to see a copy of the Tomlinson Report.

Content correct at time of publication

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