Police probe claims of criminality within RBS small business group
Police officers havebegun inquiries into the alleged mistreatment of small UK business owners within the Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) controversial restructuring division, reports have suggested.
According to reports from the BBC, Police Scotlandis conducting early inquiries into claims that the Global Restructuring Group (GRG) the RBS division opened to support struggling small businesses deliberately pushed firms to the brink of financial collapse, with the intention of purchasing their company premises.
In an official statement, RBS said itwould cooperate with any request for information made by Police Scotland.
The BBC also obtained a memo written in 2009 by a GRG employee that suggested staff were encouraged to extract money from participating business owners.
Welcoming the reports, Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said the police presence into the investigation demonstrated the ‘severity? of what took place within the GRG.
many small business owners had their professional and personal lives completely destroyed, Cherry said.
At the end of 2016, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) completed a full report into the allegations, but has yet to publish its findings. Following a leak to the press, the influential Treasury select committee of MPs demanded the imminent publishing of the report.
According to the FCA’s leaked report, over nine in ten of all small firms working with the GRG experienced inappropriate? advice or assistance, such as dubious fees or increased interest rates.
Cherry added: A decade is too long to wait for justice. We urge the FCA to make its full findings on GRG known so victims can finally receive the support they’re due.
what’s now clear is that a detailed summary of the FCA’s long-awaited report into GRG even one overseen by a legal adviser to the Treasury committee is not enough. We need to see the report in full. It will be a vital resource for the police and victims in their efforts to hold those responsible to account.
the news follows reports that thousands of those affected could miss out on compensation. Any firm caught up in the GRG web must receive the redress they’re due. RBS should respect the FCA’s definition of what constitutes a GRG customer.”
Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.
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