Sunday 30 October 2016 5:04 pm

RBS bosses have fingers crossed it will be cleared over small business unit activities

Bosses at the Royal Bank of Scotland feel confident the City watchdog is about to clear it over allegations it pushed small businesses to breaking point for its own profits. 

RBS has long been accused of purposely pushing small businesses into its Global Restructuring Group (GRG), which let the lender to benefit from additional fees, increased margins and allowing it to purchasing properties at low prices through its property division.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced earlier this month that a long overdue report into the lender's alleged activities had arrived on its desk. The Sunday Telegraph has now reported it has been told that RBS' senior management are confident it will be cleared of wrongdoing. 

Read more: RBS shares have tumbled after another loss-making quarter

The watchdog has been urged to release the report as soon as possible. Chairman of the influential Treasury select committee Andrew Tyrie called for it to be published "as soon as possible" after BuzzFeed News and BBC Newsnight ran a story based on a leaked bundle of documents, which purported to show the extent staff were encouraged to push businesses into restructuring.

RBS senior staff also indicated to the Sunday newspaper they are not so confident about an impending legal battle with investors who claim they were misled when being asked to back a rescue rights issue in 2008. In particular, they are worried that, if a settlement cannot be reached before the case reaches court in March, it could drag on for years to come. 

The bank has had its fair share of problems to wade through recently. The lender revealed it had slumped to a £469m net loss for its third quarter of the year when it released its results last Friday. 

Read more: RBS shares have tumbled after another loss-making quarter

Last Friday's results also disclosed that the lender did not think it could divest of Williams & Glyn by the end of 2017, an instruction it was given as part of its 2008 state bailout deal. 

The FCA declined to comment on this story but has previously said "there are a number of steps" it needs to take before publishing the full report, adding: "This has been a complex and lengthy review – it is therefore important that we do not rush the final stages of this process."