RBS launches small business lending review

3 July 2013

The state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has commissioned a review of its lending to small businesses, after concerns were raised about a shortage of funds in the sector.

It has brought in the former Bank of England deputy governor Sir Andrew Large and management consultants Oliver Wyman to conduct an independent examination of the lending practices of RBS and its NatWest subsidiaries.

The UK government has said lending to small businesses is imperative for the economy to improve.

RBS had claimed it has £20 billion ($30.3 billion) available to lend to small and medium-sized businesses and is looking to utilise it.

Chris Sullivan, head of UK corporate banking at RBS, said: "Demand for lending remains a challenge, but we want to do more than just wait for demand to materialise. We want to play our part in securing the recovery."

RBS chief executive officer Stephen Hester, who announced he would be stepping down last month, has said the bank is struggling to find people to take the money it has available as businesses lack confidence in the ailing economy.

By Gary Cooper

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