GRG returned just 6% of RBS’s loans to performing portfolios

The bank’s annual report also reveals the unit renegotiated £14.5bn of loans over a year

Just 6 per cent of loans renegotiated by Royal Bank of Scotland’s Global Restructuring Group were returned to performing portfolios at the business, according to the bank’s annual report.

The information is buried on page 174 of the 543-page document. It also reveals that the unit, accused by the government adviser Lawrence Tomlinson of forcing viable businesses into distress to make money for the bank, renegotiated £14.5bn of loans during 2011 and 2012.

The Tomlinson report has been passed on to City watchdogs by the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, while Royal Bank has hired the City law firm Clifford Chance to assess the claims. A report by Sir Andrew Large, commissioned by the bank, was also critical of its treatment of small businesses, saying it turned away too many at an early stage.

Yesterday in a statement RBS said: “In the boom years leading up to the financial crisis, the over-heated property development market became a major threat to the UK economy. RBS did more than its fair share to fuel this, and commercial property lending was one of the key drivers of our near collapse as valuations rapidly plummeted.

“Facing up to these mistakes has been a difficult, but essential, part of making RBS a safe and strong bank once again. That has been one of GRG’s main tasks. GRG successfully turns around most of the businesses it works with, but in all cases it is working with customers at a time of significant stress in their lives. Not all businesses that encounter serious financial trouble can be saved.

“We are already committed to an inquiry to investigate how customers are treated by RBS when facing financial difficulties and ensure that we provide them with appropriate support.”

But last night Andrew Tyrie, who chairs the Treasury Select Committee, said: “The reports published today make clear that there is a fundamental cultural problem with RBS’s lending to and treatment of SMEs. This is unwelcome but not wholly surprising. It confirms what my parliamentary colleagues and I have been hearing for a number of years. The actions and reputation of RBS have discouraged would-be customers and reduced SME activity. We have all lost out.”

Matthew Oakeshott, the former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman who resigned over the Treasury’s Project Merlin deal with the banks to boost lending to small firms in 2011, said the report was “two and a half years too late”.

“We all knew … Project Merlin was a con, but the Treasury couldn’t or wouldn’t see through Stephen Hester’s evasions on RBS’s lack of appetite for SME lending. Britain’s small businesses don’t need another inquiry – they need our government-backed RBS and Funding for Lending Scheme to focus on real jobs, not forcing up house prices ever further beyond the realms of affordability”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Administrator

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are a vibrant and establishe...

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests