RBS blamed for farm eviction

The Scottish Farmer, 16.10.16


AN ABERDEENSHIRE farmer has been named as one of the business owners caught up in the row over the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Global Restructuring Group, which has been accused of profiteering off small companies going into administration.


Kenny Riddich, of Corskellie Farms Ltd and Grampian Construction, claimed that the bank had left himself and his family homeless, after he was evicted from his farm in July of this year, and had his farm businesses put into administration


“In 2008, I wanted a £100,000 loan for a flat development, which we had already pre-sold,” he said. “The bank said that if we wanted that, we had to go into the specialist lending unit (now known as GRG). We weren’t keen on this but it was either that or they would have made us sell all of the four farms. When we got this loan, they charged us a £40,000 arrangement fee, as well as an interest rate of 2.5%, on top of the interest already on the loan, which was 2%,” he claimed.


When discussing whether or not he accepts any responsibility, Mr Riddoch said: “You have to take some responsibility, certainly, but when you are dealing with these guys and they come and go through your books and finances, you are pretty much made to do as they suggest, whether you agree with them or not.


“We had four farms, which meant four families were evicted, including a 70-year-old woman, who has lived there all her life. All of them were very upset. GRG took small businesses, bled them dry and then took all of their assets away.”


In response to this and other allegations, RBS issued a statement: “In the aftermath of the financial crisis we did not always meet our own high standards and we let some of our Small and Medium Enterprise customers down.


“We have already acknowledged that, in some areas, we could, and should, have done better for SME customers. Specifically, we could have managed the transition to GRG better and we could have better explained to customers any changes to the prices or fees we were charging.”


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