RBS face further criticism over treatment of customers

RBS face further criticism over treatment of customers

RBS chief apologies to Treasury Select Committee

RBS have been accused of misleading customers by asking them to sign personal guarantees to secure finance without fully explaining the consequences of defaulting on repayments.

The Bulloughs, former owners of the department store McEwans of Perth, claim that RBS misled them when they signed personal guarantees totalling £1.75 million in order to secure finance for their struggling business. The Bulloughs claim that RBS staff advised them that they would not lose their home in the event of a default, however, they are now embroiled in legal action to save their property from being repossessed by the bank. The family stated that had the risks been thoroughly explained to them, they would not have signed the personal guarantees and instead would have chosen another course of action.

McEwans of Perth was transferred to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Global Restructuring Group in 2010, the turnaround division of RBS created to help struggling businesses, which has been highly criticised for its mistreatment of customers. This transfer to the GRG added further pressures to the already struggling business by removing their long-standing relationship manager and transferring them to someone new, as well as reducing their overdraft limits. The business was then unable to continue and was forced to close in 2016. RBS demanded repayment of the loans, threatening to repossess the Bulloughs’ home if they were unable to settle the debt.

The family are now awaiting their hearing at court in June 2019 to see if their home will be repossessed by RBS, or whether the court will agree that they were unfairly treated by the bank and the GRG.

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