Small businesses are launching legal action against RBS after dozens of them accused the bank of pushing them into bankruptcy in a bid to boost its own profits.
Claims worth more than £1bn are being lodged against RBS by RGL Management, which has been formed to bring together a case with affected SMEs that say they were driven into folding by the bank’s now obsolete Global Restructuring Group.
More firms expected to come forward
The firms, which currently total 50 in number, will be represented by Humphries Kerstetter. The value of the claims is set to top £1bn, with RGL Management reaching out to more small companies that may have been alleged victims.
The businesses have secured financial backing from investors, which RGL will use to investigate and collect evidence.
James Hayward, chief executive of RGL told The Guardian: “We believe this has the potential to be a huge claim.
“Single businesses within our group have losses of tens of millions of pounds and thousands of businesses suffered as a result of GRG’s actions. The rate at which we are being contacted by businesses suggests our claim will be very significant.”
From friend to foe
Global Restructuring Group (GRG) was set up by RBS to help small businesses that were struggling but in 2013, a report was publishing accusing GRG of driving some of its customers to file for bankruptcy so it could buy their properties and make money from them.
Hayward added: “This is about making people realise that there is a vehicle through which they can claim. We are funded, we have lawyers ready, we’re investigating and processing data and if people think they have an issue they should come and talk to us.”
An RBS spokesperson said it would respond with a robust defence: “We believe we have a strong case and will defend these claims vigorously.”