Tuesday 8 November 2016 7:52 am

RBS has set aside £400m as compensation for small business customers

Beleaguered lender Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has set aside £400m to compensate small and medium-sized business customers after allegations of mistreatment by its Global Restructuring Group (GRG).

The lender announced today it will set aside the refund fees for the scandal, in which small firms alleged they were forced into financial distress by the business, in its fourth quarter.

It also announced a new complaints process, which it has agreed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and will be overseen by Sir William Blackburne, a retired high court judge. 

The process will "add a robust, transparent and independent step to the complaints process", it said today. 

Read more: Five problems facing RBS chief exec Ross McEwan

The news comes on the same day that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) chief exec's appearance in front of a treasury select committee.

The chairman of the committee, Andrew Tyrie, wrote to the FCA boss Andrew Bailey in October to find out when the FCA plans to issue their final report on the actions of RBS's GRG operations.

GRG has been accused of forcing small businesses into financial distress, with RBS capitalising from their misfortune. It has been alleged that GRG charged high fees and took either partial or full control of scores of small businesses. 

100 small businesses have organised themselves to take legal action against RBS and the operations of its GRG unit. 

Read more: RBS bosses think it will be cleared over small business unit activities

RBS chief exec Ross McEwan has rejected the claims that the lender pushed businesses over in order to benefit from their plight.