UK lawmaker Tyrie says fundamental problems with RBS's lending

LONDON (Reuters) - The chairman of Britain's Treasury Select Committee said on Monday there were fundamental problems in the way Royal Bank of Scotland lends to and treats small business customers.

"The reports published today make clear that there is a fundamental cultural problem with RBS's lending to and treatment of SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises). The actions and reputation of RBS have discouraged would-be customers and reduced SME activity," Tyrie said in a statement.

"RBS's SME lending has serious problems. Any remedy must be real enough to force big cultural change and to convince would-be SME borrowers. It remains to be seen whether the planned internal re-organization will suffice," he added.

RBS has appointed law firm Clifford Chance to conduct an inquiry into the treatment received by small business customers in financial distress, responding to suggestions it closed down viable businesses too quickly.

(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Steve Slater)

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