Serious Fraud Office may investigate RBS

RBS building

The Serious Fraud Office is considering a criminal investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s global restructuring group, after claims the lender was forcing small companies out of business.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the SFO is in the early stages of assessing whether there was any criminal activity and has not yet progressed to a full investigation, reports the Financial Times.

RBS has been accused by government adviser Lawrence Tomlinson of pushing struggling small firms into its 'turnaround' unit, so it could charge higher fees and interest, and take control of their assets.

"The only thing we're saying is that we're aware of the issue and we are monitoring developments," a spokeswoman for the Serious Fraud Office said.

The FT said that the SFO has conducted interviews with former executives of UK businesses affected by RBS's Global Restructuring Group. The business manages the bank's riskier loans.

Earlier on Monday, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, said it was 'remarkable' and 'shocking' that RBS's treatment of small businesses was not picked up sooner, if it took place on a wide scale.

To access the complete Daily Telegraph article hit the link below:

RBS faces criminal probe of small business allegations

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