What's unstated here is how much of this is going on in banks that are not state backed/owned... -Bill
Banks 'destroying small firms': Cable report accuses RBS and Lloyds of 'unscrupulous' practices
Probe claims RBS and Lloyds have deliberately caused small firms to fail. RBS, 80 per cent owned by taxpayer, referred to financial watchdogs. Bank claims it tried to help the businesses, 'but can't save all of them'
By RUPERT STEINER
PUBLISHED: 17:26 GMT, 24 November 2013 | UPDATED: 00:30 GMT, 25 November 2013
Business Secretary Vince Cable
commissioned the report which
accuses the two banks, which are
part-owned by the taxpayer, of
deliberately ruining small firms
Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds ‘harmed their customers through their decisions and caused their financial downfall’, according to a bombshell report released today.
RBS is said to have acted like a ‘hit squad’ by deliberately causing healthy businesses to go bust for its personal gain.
In the worst cases, the bank withdrew lines of credit for previously solvent firms by charging eye-watering fees and charges so it could then seize their assets – typically property – at knockdown prices.
Lloyds Banking Group is also singled out in the extraordinary allegations in an independent report commissioned by the Government.
Entrepreneur Lawrence Tomlinson was asked by Business Secretary Vince Cable to look into small business lending.
He accuses many of Britain’s banks of ‘heavy-handed profiteering and abhorrent behaviour’. Last night Mr Tomlinson said if it was proved there was ‘systematic and institutional fraud’ at the banks, ‘you should see people going to jail’.
His report reserved its most damning criticism for taxpayer-backed RBS and Lloyds. He said: ‘It is undeniable that some of the banks, RBS and Lloyds in particular, are harming their customers through their decisions and causing their financial downfall.’
The allegation will be a major embarrassment for both lenders and the Government, which owns an 82 per cent stake in RBS and 43 per cent in Lloyds.