The first of the investigations into behaviour by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) following publication of the Tomlinson Report in November last year has found “no evidence” to back up the most serious allegations that the bank systematically put customers out of business.
Clifford Chance does not however completely exonerate RBS in its dealings with customers, only the allegation of a deliberate policy – a copy of the report is available at http://bit.ly/1ljINfK.
The report by the law firm Clifford Chance was commissioned by RBS after Tomlinson, adviser to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, investigated the behaviour of the RBS-owned turnaround unit, Global Restructuring Group (GRG).
His report accused GRG of systematically charging large fees to small businesses, thereby putting them out of business and generating profits for the bank.
While there is speculation that RBS could sue Mr Tomlinson for libel, for damage to the bank’s reputation, it is likely that RBS will wait for the FCA report before responding formally.
Given that Clifford Chance are a panel firm of advisers to RBS and the limited scope of their investigation, it will be interesting to see if their findings are supported by the FCA whose report is due to be released much later this year.