Exclusive by Kam Sandhu @KamBass
RBS regularly forged customer signatures on documents and files held by the bank, according to an ex-staff member who worked in commercial banking for 8 years.
The whistleblower told Real Media they were trained in lifting customer signatures in the first week of employment, reproducing them from the Image Signature Verification (ISV) software at the bank.
‘I was put straight into a portfolio manager job, and I was looking after the senior manager. There was a particular lady in the office and she was showing me how things were done, which included amending loan documentation for file purposes.’
“The bank has a mandated system called ISV where it was an electronic signature of the customer. If something wasn’t signed all we do is take a copy of the bank ISV, cut it out, take a few photocopies of it so you lose any lines or you could hold it up against a window and trace it through. And that was a common practice and I was taught that in my first week.’
Though this training was conducted on a 1-on-1 basis, the whistleblower said the practices were widely known within the bank;
‘It was commonly known through the managers. The woman who ran the office did the training. You question it. You think is this normal? But everyone else knew about it and everyone was taught the same thing. My manager, her husband was a senior in the bank.’
‘With compliance you expect to see certain things in a folder. Half the time if you didn’t have it, it would be manufactured to be there.
Some customers have previously raised concerns of incorrect, falsified or doctored information.
In response to these new allegations, RBS said:
‘This is the first time these allegations have been made to the bank, and we will conduct an investigation into these claims. Given that the allegations are over 10 years old and the line manager of the whistleblower has now left the bank we have not been able to look into this any further in the timescales provided.”
However, while the whistleblower received training 10 years ago, they continued to work at the bank for eight years and told Real Media this practice took place throughout that time.
RBS categorically deny manipulating or falsifying customer records.*
Read the Full Investigation: ‘They Were Tampering With Files’ – The Story of a Whistleblower ‘Engineered’ Out of RBS
*This article was updated at 15:40pm 16/02/2017 to include this part of RBS’ statement.