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.