RBS CEO Ross McEwan today accepted the recommendations set out in an independent review of the bank’s small and medium size business lending and committed to act on the findings.

Immediate actions that we will take to support SMEs and the economic recovery include:

  • Writing to thousands more businesses, setting out how much we are willing to lend them.
  • Speeding up the processing of loan applications. Once all information is submitted, decisions about less complex loans will be made within five days, rather than the weeks or months it currently can take.
  • Working on a new survey with business groups to evaluate how well RBS is supporting SMEs.

Ross McEwan said “The picture Sir Andrew Large paints is not an entirely comfortable one, but it’s one we have to confront. A successful, vibrant, and well-regarded SME bank is central to the overall value and reputation of this company.

“We must ensure our policies, processes and systems help our people do the best job they can for customers and shareholders in this area. Our aim is to become the number one bank for SME customer service in the UK and to grow our lending along the way.

“The Large review shows that there is significantly more we can do to expand our lending to small and medium-sized businesses. More recently, some of our competitors have managed to increase their lending in this area while we continue to contract. We will address all the issues this report raises.”

Read a summary of the report’s findings.

Background to the review

Sir Andrew Large and management consultants Oliver Wyman undertook a thorough and independent review of practices and standards used by RBS and NatWest for lending to SMEs in the UK.

The objective of the review was to enable RBS to enhance its support for SMEs, and hence support the economic recovery.

For more information, see our press release: RBS to act on SME lending review findings.

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