Royal Bank of Scotland could put branch managers back in charge of small business lending in an effort to cut costs and also allay concerns over its treatment of debtors.
Chief executive Ross McEwan is conducting a wide-ranging review of the bank, the results of which he will present alongside annual figures next month.
There has been widespread speculation that he is planning further cutbacks and that this will involve more jobs being lost and branches closing.
He is also reported to be considering removing small business lending from the group’s corporate banking division and giving control to its retail arm.
Analysts said the move could reduce costs as well as being popular with customers.
RBS said yesterday it would not comment, but it has already said that it wants to make more lending decisions locally.
Last year RBS faced allegations it had deliberately driven small firms out of business to make money. A review by Sir Andrew Large published last week cleared the bank of wrongdoing.
But McEwan also accepted criticism in Large’s report, admitting that its SME lending practices needed to improve.