‘Horror stories’ pile up as another 450 firms complain about banks
Margareta Pagano is a former business editor of the Independent on Sunday who now writes columns and business interviews for a range of publications, including the Independent, Independent on Sunday and London Evening Standard.
Thursday 26 December 2013
Lawrence Tomlinson, author of the inquiry which cited evidence that RBS had deliberately destroyed companies to make a profit, said on Thursday he has received another 450 cases since his report was published at the end of November. Mr Tomlinson, entrepreneur in residence at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, added that many of the new cases also related to RBS and its Global Restructuring Group (GRG).
The report found that many small business owners claimed they had good companies that were deliberately taken into GRG and then had their properties sold to the specialist property arm, West Register, to make profits. The implication was that these businesses were taken into GRG to generate revenue for the bank by charging fees, as well as aiding the purchase of devalued assets by West Register.
While removing a bad debt from a bank’s books is not unreasonable, particularly as lenders have been trying to move away from riskier assets, Mr Tomlinson said that many small business owners had the perception that their companies were being “purposefully distressed” and gave examples of mistreatment.
The Yorkshire businessman said he has yet to check the validity of the latest cases but will be passing on all information to the Financial Conduct Authority’s the City’s watchdog, and will be assisting with its investigation.
The FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority are investigating about 200 earlier complaints, which formed the basis of his original inquiry, commissioned by Vince Cable’s business department. Mr Tomlinson’s report, which saw specific names redacted when it was published – has been sent in full to the regulators. Mr Tomlinson is also helping the RBS chief executive, Ross McEwan, with the bank’s own inquiry into the allegations. It has appointed City law firm Clifford Chance to review the report’s allegations. Mr Tomlinson said: “I remain very supportive of Ross. He seems intent on improving performance within the bank. It’s still early days, and in the FCA’s investigation, but it is clear that he is taking the issue seriously, which is refreshing.”
Mr Tomlinson began reviewing small business bank lending because he kept hearing stories from local suppliers that they were either finding it impossible to get access to finance. “At the same time, the big banks like RBS and Lloyd’s were always in the media saying that they were lending,” he said. “There was a disconnect and I wanted to find out what is really happening. I didn’t expect to discover such horror stories about companies being deliberately put out of business.”
- 1 Games of Thrones actor Lena Headey makes emotional promise to her unborn daughter
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...