Friday 19 January 2018

UK minister refers RBS to watchdog

Business Secretary Vince Cable has passed evidence of Royal Bank of Scotland's treatment of small businesses to City watchdogs
Business Secretary Vince Cable has passed evidence of Royal Bank of Scotland's treatment of small businesses to City watchdogs

THE British government has referred the Royal Bank of Scotland to a London-based regulator amid renewed allegations over its treatment of struggling business customers.

UK business minister Vince Cable referred the state-owned bank to the Financial Conduct Authority, according to reports on Sky News. A spokesman for RBS declined to comment.

Sky News said the material was compiled by businessman Lawrence Tomlinson. The dossier contains claims that the parent of Ulster Bank engineered the transfer of a significant number of business customers into the bank's global restructuring group to profit from the higher fees it can charge.

Mr Tomlinson, who works for the government under the title entrepreneur-in-residence, is said to have uncovered evidence that the taxpayer-backed bank sought to exploit distressed small business customers by accelerating their move into the division.

In August, the 'Telegraph' reported that Mr Tomlinson had handed a dossier to Mr Cable that he said revealed banks' "disturbing patterns of behaviour" towards small- and medium-sized businesses.

At the time Mr Tomlinson accused banks of loading punitive charges on struggling companies to maximise returns and of "making directors passengers in their own businesses".

Irish Independent

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