270 firms raise cash for £600m RBS-GRG class action

rbs_logoA group of companies, a third of which are Scottish, are set to launch a £600 million case action against Royal Bank of Scotland after securing financial backing for the crusade.

The 270 firms that make up the action group claim that the 80 per cent taxpayer-owned bank’s now infamous Global Restructuring Group (GRG) forced companies into bankruptcy so that it could take control of their assets.

The conduct of the GRG has been a long-running story and a Financial Conduct Authority investigation is currently underway into its activities.

But with money to fund its legal challenge, the RBS-GRG business action group now intends to bring its own challenge in the shape of an “unlawful means conspiracy” case against both the bank and the directors who it accuses of wrongdoing.

RBS has declined to comment on the latest development in the GRG saga, but has long-denied the allegations surrounding its behaviour.

In April 2014 the bank launched an independent review carried out by Clifford Chance, with the law firm saying that it had found no evidence that the GRG deliberately defrauded its business customers.

At the time, RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said the allegation had had a profound effect on GRG and that the unit turns round most of the businesses it works with.

However, last July a committee of MPs branded RBS executives “wilfully obtuse” in their testimony after the bank admitted GRG was run as a “profit centre” – a characterisation it had previously refuted.