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Treasury in firing line in latest RBS lawsuit

A fresh legal case against Royal Bank of Scotland claims that the government had “day-to-day” involvement and “strategic” control over the now infamous division the Global Restructuring Group.

A wealthy property developer, Oliver Morley, is the latest to make allegations that the bank’s restructuring arm put pressure on his business so his assets could be acquired by its property division.

However, The Times reports he is also considering a legal case against the Treasury for having an alleged influence over its aggressive tactics.

The £100 million High Court action concerns the role played by the Asset Protection Agency, the government department that insured toxic loans by RBS.

Morley’s witness statement says the agency “appears to have encouraged the bank towards the path of what was effectively a sale to itself of a properly performing portfolio of properties”.

A Treasury spokesman said:“No claim has been brought against HM Treasury. This court case is between the claimant, Mr Morley, and RBS.”

The action follows an investigation by the FCA of the GRG, which was branded as a unit to help turnaround the fortunes of struggling businesses, but has been accused of damaging firms for its own financial gain.

In July last year, the FCA said that while RBS “fell well short” in its treatment of GRG customers, and a complaints process for small and medium-sized business had been set up, because the GRG’s business was largeley unregulated, the regulator’s “powers to discipline for misconduct do not apply”.

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