Ian Fraser: RBS is a 'Rogue Institution' and is Dangerously in Denial About Tomlinson Report TruthIBTimes UK

The Royal Bank of Scotland was guilty of "acting like a rogue institution" towards its struggling business customers, according to author Ian Fraser, who has a history of arraigning RBS in books articles and documentaries.

Speaking to IBTimes TV about his latest book, Shredded: Inside RBS – The Bank that Broke Britain, Fraser reveals his major concerns over how RBS chose to denounce the now-infamous Tomlinson Report, which claimed the bank engineered businesses into default while profiting from their struggles.

"One of the worst elements of RBS at the moment is the area of the treatment of distressed corporate and SME borrowers where I continue to hear horror stories about the bank behaving atrociously towards customers," said Fraser.

In his report, Lawrence Tomlinson claimed that RBS pushed businesses into default after moving them into its Global Restructuring Group (GRG).

Fraser claims that the 81% government-owned RBS profited from the struggles of SMEs because moving them into GRG would create revenue for the bank through higher fees and margins.

It can also result in the purchase of devalued assets by its property division, West Register, he said.

However, in the aftermath, the British government distanced itself from Tomlinson, rebuked previous claims that he was an adviser to Britain's business secretary Vince Cable, while RBS drafted in heavyweight lawyers, Clifford Chance, to review the report.

"They just seem to pretend it isn't happening and it's very odd. I know the Tomlinson report is entirely accurate because I have been approached by over 100 companies that have described the same thing [the report says] has happened.

"It could involve the mis-sale of interest rate swaps or it could include other chicanery on the part of RBS."

Clifford Chance has since said that "it found no evidence of systematic fraud" and RBS CEO Ross McEwan said that customer trust "was put at risk" by Tomlinson's allegation.

"This allegation had a profound effect on the bank and on the work of a team that successfully turns round the vast majority of businesses that it works with," said McEwan.

"We could not let this allegation hang over us. That's why we acted quickly to appoint Clifford Chance to get to the truth of this claim. We are determined to earn back the trust of our customers."

Fraser has been a journalist for over 25 years, including seven years at the Sunday Herald in Glasgow. He has also taught at the University of Stirling and has made six documentaries with the BBC, including RBS; the bank that ran out of money.