RBS accused of seizing small firm assets

Vince Cable. Picture: BBC

Vince Cable. Picture: BBC

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The Royal Bank of Scotland has been accused of seizing assets from small firms to benefit its own property empire.

A report due to be published today by businessman Lawrence Tomlinson, who acts as entrepreneur in residence at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, is set to contain a series of claims about the taxpayer-backed bank’s handling of small businesses. He said he had uncovered a dossier of evidence alleging that RBS had deliberately forced companies into default to seize their properties.

Business Secretary Vince Cable confirmed he has referred the report to city watchdogs, as well as RBS and Sir Andrew Large, who is also due to publish his full RBS-commissioned review into small business lending at the group.

Mr Cable said: “Some of these allegations are very serious and I am waiting for an urgent response as to what actions have been taken.”

It is understood the allegations focus on the bank’s Global Restructuring Group lending division, which handles loans classed as being risky.