RBS small business legal claim gains pace

An action group planning a lawsuit against Royal Bank of Scotland on behalf of small businesses claiming they were damaged by the bank's controversial Global Restructuring Group (GRG) will be in Edinburgh on Thursday to drum up support.

RBS has denied any wrongdoing at its GRG arm. Picture: John Devlin
RBS has denied any wrongdoing at its GRG arm. Picture: John Devlin

RBS GRG Litigation Management (RGL) was founded by James Hayward, an Australian lawyer, and said it has processed its first 100 claimants who have accused GRG of mistreating small businesses.

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A spokesman said: “We believe these are credible cases and that there will be many more. We are coming to Edinburgh to meet privately with claimants affected.

“Anyone who wishes to join the meeting or find out more should contact us on our website www.sueRBS.com. GRG was meant to help small businesses in trouble, but the allegation is that the business instead offered them expensive services and called in loans to help strengthen its own balance sheet, particularly as the financial crisis broke. It remains a toxic issue for the bank.”

RGL has appointed solicitors and legal QCs, and said it hopes to launch its first claim against RBS by end‑2016. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) originally planned to publish an independent report it has commissioned into the allegations against the GRG unit by the end of 2015.

In April the FCA confirmed it had received the final draft report. RBS, whose chief executive Ross McEwan has highlighted small business lending as a key plank of the business, declined to comment but has always denied wrongdoing.