The objective of the review will be to identify steps that RBS and NatWest can take to enhance its support to SMEs and the economic recovery while maintaining safe and sound lending practices. The review will also help promote a common understanding of the way in which the bank makes its judgements and decisions on SME lending.
RBS and NatWest will support the delivery of the review by providing Sir Andrew and Oliver Wyman with access to individuals across the business, as well as to data and reports that are available and useful to the review. Sir Andrew and Oliver Wyman will also consult widely, including with customers, SME business associations, regulators and the Government.
The review will take place over the course of the summer with findings and recommendations published this autumn.
RBS CEO of UK Corporate Banking, Chris Sullivan said:
"We are the biggest lender to SMEs in the country, and have identified £20 billion in surplus deposits that we want to put to work to support the economy - but we constantly hear that businesses can’t get the finance they need. We have to bridge this gap.
"With the economy now moving to recovery, it is the right time to have a fresh look at lending, to make sure we are making the right judgements, to challenge ourselves to get better and support even more businesses.
"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. If there are loans that we could and should be making, but are not, then that will change. If there are things we can do better - we will."
Sir Andrew Large said:
"There is a disconnect between what the bank says it is doing on lending, and what many businesses say they experience on the ground. That is why we have been asked to conduct an independent review to establish what is going on, and what steps can be taken. Clearly, the business community needs to have confidence that deserving firms can get the support they need."
Terms of reference
Independent Lending Review terms of reference (PDF 51KB)