City of London police inquiry adds to RBS investigations

As SFO investigate, bank boss pledges to share £1m report with regulators

The City of London Police is investigating allegations of wrongdoing by Royal Bank of Scotland, it emerged on Wednesday night, adding to the Serious Fraud Office’s inquiry.

The financial capital’s economic crimes department has been examining the bank’s behaviour following at least one complaint from an alleged victim who contacted The Independent. The businessman is in a civil court dispute with the bank over the alleged seizing of his assets and has presented the City of London police with a large dossier of paperwork supporting his case.

News of the widening examination of RBS’s practices came as its chief executive pledged to “fully investigate” what he said were “serious allegations” that the bank defrauded companies that were its clients by forcing them to go bust.

Ross McEwan spoke as it emerged that the case is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office. The allegations were levelled in a sharply critical report by the government adviser Lawrence Tomlinson.

Mr McEwan, who replaced Stephen Hester as chief executive, pledged to “share” the findings of a review he has commissioned into the bank’s business practices which will be led by a regulatory partner at City law firm Clifford Chance. It could cost RBS more than £1m. A spokesperson from the SFO said: “We are aware of the issue and are monitoring the situation. As far as any criminal investigation is concerned we can neither confirm nor deny this. ”

The SFO has received a dossier from and interviewed Neil Mitchell, a former chief executive of Torex Retail. He was the whistleblower at the former AIM-listed software company which resulted in the jail sentences for two of its former directors for duping shareholders by using false invoices to boost its profits. At the time, RBS led its syndicate of lenders. Mr Mitchell said that he had been in regular contact with a senior intelligence officer at the SFO over the behaviour of RBS towards the then reeling company since November last year. Recently he made a two-hour presentation to SFO officials. He believes the squad has broadened its investigation to look at the alleged wider system of abuse by RBS. He aired concerns at the bank’s AGM last year and held talks with chairman Sir Philip Hampton.

Mr McEwan said the Clifford Chance review would be shared with regulatory agencies including the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority: “It is important to note that the most serious allegation that has been made is that RBS conducted a ‘systematic’ effort to profit on the back of our customers when they were in financial distress. We do not believe that this is the case, but it has nonetheless done serious damage to RBS’s reputation. No evidence has been provided for that allegation to the bank. The review will investigate the claim fully and I will report back on its findings.”

Mr Tomlinson said RBS had been “unnecessarily engineering a default” at ailing companies to move them to its Global Reconstruction Group where the bank charged punitive fees, increased its interest rates and seized assets at prices well below their market value.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world