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Bank wants line drawn under scandal

RBS hires new team to investigate ‘mistreatment’ claims

Ross McEwanRoyal Bank of Scotland chief executive Ross McEwan has hired another team of advisers to investigate the bank’s alleged mistreatment of small business customers.

The inquiry will run alongside another into the same matter by the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which  was last year.

RBS has struggled to brush off allegations that its Global Restructuring Group (GRG) forced companies into difficulties so it could charge higher fees and interest and take control of their assets.

Mr McEwan is believed to view this as being a bigger taint on its reputation than any of the other scandals that have surrounded the bank. It’s thought, therefore, that he wants an external investigation to seek out the truth and draw a line under the affair.

The allegations emerged when Lawrence Tomlinson, who acted as an adviser to former Business Secretary Vince Cable, accused RBS of systematically sucking cash out of viable small businesses.

A separate review by law firm Clifford Chance, which was commissioned by RBS, found no evidence the bank set out to defraud small businesses.

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