Commenting on Stephen Hester's departure from RBS last month, the Business Secretary Vince Cable appeared to criticise the taxpayer-owned bank for not doing enough to lend to small and medium firms (SMEs):
He performed a necessary role at a difficult time...RBS needs more of a focus on SME (small and medium enterprise) lending, supporting the economy.
Taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland is launching a review of its small business lending after uncovering £20 billion in untapped cash that could be used to support loan-starved companies.
The group has hired former Bank of England deputy governor Sir Andrew Large and a management consultancy to assess lending practices and standards used by RBS and NatWest for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).
It said was making the move because it wanted to play its part in "securing the recovery".
The review follows the launch of a sector-wide probe by the Office of Fair Trading into SME lending following calls for an investigation by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.
Following RBS boss Stephen Hester's shock departure announcement, Chancellor George Osborne also made it clear the bank's new chief executive would be expected to increase lending to Britain's small businesses.