RBS says review of its lending was a tough read but accepts recommendations

RBS has called the review it commissioned into its lending to small and medium-sized businesses a "tough read". In a letter sent to the leader of the review, Sir Andrew Large, from the bank's chief executive Ross McEwan (pictured), the bank also confirmed that it has asked law firm Clifford Chance to investigate the treatment of customers at its hands.

In a report sent to City regulators by business secretary Vince Cable, government adviser Lawrence Tomlinson found that the bank put "good and viable" businesses into default, in order to make a profit.

McEwan said that lender has accepted the recommendations made by Large and has "already committed to fix our lending processes... beginning work to enable all but the most complex lending decisions to be taken in just five days of receipt of all necessary information."

The bar, he continued is "set higher" for RBS, because of its rescue at the public expense.

McEwan ended the letter: "We are the biggest SME lender - now we want to be the best SME bank too. That includes as measured by a new survey on customer satisfaction that we are funding and working with the SME trade bodies on."

Clifford Chance will deliver its findings to RBS in the new year.