Banks, bonuses and the Big Five

Labour's two-pronged assault on the banking sector is trying to cement a view in voters' minds that the party is on the side of consumers

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RBS may sue after accused of 'undermining small firms'

The Royal Bank of Scotland is considering legal action against the businessman behind a damning report that accused the taxpayer-backed lender of deliberately putting customers out of business for profit.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that the bank could have grounds to pursue a libel action against Lawrence Tomlinson after an inquiry into his allegations reportedly found no evidence to support claims that the lender’s turnaround unit had systematically engineered the collapse of small businesses.

In its report, Clifford Chance said it found “no evidence” to back up the most serious accusations made by Mr Tomlinson. Credit: PA

Jon Pain, the head of regulatory affairs at RBS, said: “The damage of the report has already been done and whether Mr Tomlinson offers any retraction or apology is a matter for him.

"These were the most serious allegations RBS has faced since the crisis and damaged RBS’s brand and undoubtedly harmed the value of the taxpayer’s interest.”

The law firm Clifford Chance on Thursday published the results of its investigation into the Tomlinson report which said it found "no evidence" to back up the most serious accusation.

RBS agrees £1.5 billion payout to taxpayer

Royal Bank of Scotland was bailed out by the Government in the last recession. Credit: PA

Royal Bank of Scotland has agreed to pay £1.5 billion to the taxpayer in a bid to return to the private sector.

The state-backed lender is hoping the move will allow it to resume future dividend payouts.

RBS, which is 80 per cent owned by the Treasury, has agreed the payout so its share price rises and it can break even on its £45 billion Government bailout.

Under its deal with the Treasury, the bank was unable to make payouts to ordinary shareholders.

It has now agreed to pay £320 million this year followed by another £1.18 billion to exit the arrangement.

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Carney: RBS might have to leave independent Scotland

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney has warned that there is a "distinct possibility" that the Royal Bank of Scotland would have to move outside of Scotland in the event of a vote for independence.

Speaking to MPs on the Treasury select committee, Mr Carney said European laws require banks to have their head offices in the same member state as their registered offices. Asked if RBS would have to move to the remaining UK if voters backed independence, he said:

It's a distinct possibility but I shouldn't prejudge it.

It depends on their arrangements as well, if they were to adjust more into Scotland the minor management of the institution.

Trio of mobile banking apps crash on payday

Mobile customers of Barclays, NatWest and RBS are enduring a difficult final day of the month - payday for many Britons - after being locked out of their banking apps.

All three banks announced problems with their apps on their Twitter accounts, saying:

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We’re aware that there are issues with accessing our Barclays Mobile Banking app; this is being looked into on an urgent basis. 1/2

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We’re aware of some issues on our Mobile Banking service and are working hard to fix them. Sorry and thanks for your patience.

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If you’re having difficulty with our mobile app, online banking, telephone banking and ATMs are all working normally.

The trio urged their customers to use online banking, telephone banking, ATMs or visit a local branch to deal with their money issue or pay a bill.

RBS: Some unknown risks of Scottish independence

The head of the Royal Bank of Scotland has told ITV News there are some unknown risks about Scottish independence.

In its annual report, the bank admitted that such move would be likely to have a "significant" impact on the group's credit rating as well its monetary and regulatory landscape.

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan told ITV News: "We are doing a bit of planning around the 'what ifs' and the 'could be' that could happen."

Read: Standard Life could quit independent Scotland

Read: Clegg urges RBS to show restraint over bonuses

RBS report highlights fears over Scottish independence

The Royal Bank of Scotland has highlighted the "political risks" posed by Scottish independence to its business, saying it could "significantly" impact the group's credit ratings.

Comments in its annual results also questioned whether the move would affect Scotland's status in the European Union.

During 2013, the focus on the question of potential Scottish independence from the UK has heightened and the Scottish government will be holding a referendum in September 2014.

A vote in favour of Scottish independence would be likely to significantly impact the Group’s credit ratings and could also impact the fiscal, monetary, legal and regulatory landscape to which the Group is subject.

Were Scotland to become independent, it may also affect Scotland’s status in the EU.

– RBS annual report

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RBS boss: Bankers' bonus pot a 'highly emotional issue'

Royal Bank of Scotland boss Ross McEwan has admitted that bonuses were a "highly emotional issue", but avoided questions on whether sums could be clawed back from those who underestimated the difficulties.

I understand it is a highly emotional issue to see bonuses paid in which we are still losing money.

The issue for me as a pragmatic executive is that I need to be able to pay what it takes to actually get people to do the job for us.

When you look at RBS, we of all banks have been the one who have been pulling the pay and bonus structures down, but I do need to be in the market to get people to do these jobs.

– RBS chief executive Ross McEwan

But he warned that his best staff were constantly being "tapped on the shoulder" by other institutions.

He said: "We do see the turnover of good people and I have got to say they are in demand."

Mr McEwan insisted that "no decisions" had been taken over whether the bank would pay packages that would breach the EU's cap on bonuses of 200% of salary.

RBS boss admits 'shock' over depth of bank's problems

The Royal Bank of Scotland boss has said that the depth of problems at the bank was still coming as a "shock".

Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, Ross McEwan. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme chief executive Ross McEwan said: "I think that people, including executives at the bank, did not realise how big a change process we had to go through to get this bank back into shape."It has been a real shock how much time it is taking to turn it round."

Read: Clegg urges RBS to show restraint over bonuses

Clegg: Loss-making RBS shouldn't give large bonuses

Nick Clegg has told Daybreak a loss-making bank such as the Royal Bank of Scotland "shouldn't be dishing out ever larger amounts in pay and bonuses".

Although the Deputy Prime Minister acknowledged the average amount of bonuses paid out by taxpayer-funded banks has been coming it down, he stressed: "It needs to continue to come down".

Mr Clegg said: "They are entitled to pay their staff what they want when they are standing on their own two feet - at the moment they are not.

"I actually said this to the chairman of NatWest bank recently - as long as you are there because the British public have been generous to keep you in existence, be restrained, be sensible, be responsible".

His comments came as RBS announced annual pre-tax losses of £8.2 billion.

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