Daily Record 10:00, 19 Oct 2015 By Alastair McNeill
Hamilton businessman’s gruelling seven-year battle with RBS continues
A bankrupt Hamilton businessman’s costly seven-year battle with RBS looks set to continue with “no sign” that the banking giant is prepared to settle the matter.
Property developer Derek Carlyle’s dispute with the bank started in 2008 when the bank pulled out of a loan leaving his business Carlyco Ltd “in ruins”.
But last spring matters moved in Mr Carlyle’s favour when the UK Supreme Court ruled a judge’s decision – that the bank had broken their promise to him over the £1.45m loan – had been the right one.
This week, however, seven months after that landmark ruling, Mr Carlyle told the Advertiser that RBS are “refusing to discuss any prospect of a settlement”.
Mr Carlyle’s MP Margaret Ferrier (Rutherglen and Hamilton West) recently wrote to RBS chief executive Ross McEwan, urging him to intervene, in a bid to have the matter settled.
She told Mr McEwan in a letter dated October 2: “Following your bank’s defeat in the Supreme Court, Mr Carlyle argues that no attempt has been made to act in good faith as to enter into settlement discussions.
“In June this year Mr Carlyle’s solicitors presented a settlement proposal to the bank for discussion with a deadline for response of August 7, 2015 – to which no response was received.
“My constituent is therefore left with no option but to try to obtain costly litigation-funding in order to take the bank to the Court of Session to secure his damages. This will prolong the matter and cost both parties an increasing amount of money, causing my constituent who has done nothing wrong more stress.”
Ms Ferrier has also lodged a Freedom of Information request with UK Financial Investments Ltd, the company responsible for managing the Government’s shareholdings in the Royal Bank of Scotland plc, in a bid to find out how much money RBS has spent on litigation and conduct costs since the Treasury acquired 79% of RBS shares in 2008 – and specifically how much it has spent on the Carlyle v Royal Bank of Scotland plc litigation.
She also said in her letter to Mr McEwan: “As an elected MP it is incumbent opon myself to scrutinise where taxpayers’ money is spent.
“I do accept that RBS have a responsibility to reclaim any money that they feel they are owed, as I believe they have a fiduciary duty to the taxpayer.
“Nonetheless this could surely be arranged without having to enter into further litigation.” Mr Carlyle this week told the Advertiser he expected his costs will be in excess of £1m, with circa 60 to 65 per cent of that reclaimable.
Mr Carlyle added: “I feel very disappointed that after seven years of proving that I’ve done nothing wrong that chief executive of RBS Ross McEwan does not appear to have either the authority or inclination to admit that his bank personnel were wrong, apologise, and settle this matter.”
Mr Carlyle had previously said he had been subject to a “bizarre sequestration process” by the bank aimed at destroying his credibility.
During the sequestration process the company was unable to trade which resulted in a ‘fire sale’ of company assets with losses of £1m. He also lost his home in Bothwell’s prestigious Countess Gate during the legal action.
An RBS spokesman said this week: “We are taking all possible measures to resolve this matter.”