The landmark Supreme Court judgement in favour of bankrupt developer Derek Carlyle and against Royal Bank of Scotland went against the grain of Scotland's legal system, a leading advocate has said.

Roddy Dunlop QC told a conference staged in Edinburgh by MBM Commercial, which specialises in cases against banks, that public disquiet with bankers tended not to be matched by the courts, which had appeared "protective" of banks.

He said the Inner House appeal court in Edinburgh had allowed RBS's appeal in the Carlyle case, but had been criticised by the Supreme Court for interfering in the original judgement by Lord Glennie. The QC warned that ending automatic right of appeal to the UK's highest court might make such outcomes less likely in future.

Three Supreme Court judges last month unanimously ruled that Lord Glennie was right to uphold Mr Carlyle's claim for £3m damages against the bank five years ago. Following that judgement, in which Lord Glennie was critical of RBS, Mr Carlyle was sequestrated then given a 12-year bankruptcy restriction order, following moves by the bank which were later lambasted in the Commons by his local MP Jim Hood.

Mr Dunlop, of Axiom Advocates, noted that the Lord Justice Clerk Lord Carloway had this week criticised the Supreme Court's influence over the Scottish legal system - which was about to be reduced.

The QC, who took on the case on a no-win no-fee basis, said: "The judge who delivered the decision in the Inner House was Lord Carloway...with the automatic right to go to the Supreme Court removed, you (now) have to go to Lord Carloway to ask his permission to appeal against one of his decisions."

He added: "It may be that there is an attitude that makes it more difficult to rely on cases such as this, we will have to wait and see."

The conference also heard from Derek Weir, former head of corporate banking at RBS and Barclays in Scotland, and now the Cooperative Bank's first newly-appointed non-executive director following its bail-out by US hedge funds.

Mr Weir said that while politicians were urging banks to lend more to SMEs, they had also been strangling them with regulation. He said there had been "massive under-investment in IT" at the Cooperative and probably RBS, at the same time as stress tests triggered the need for more capital. The Cooperative, however, had retained loyalty thanks to perceptions that it did treat customers fairly.

Mr Weir said: "The way regulations are going we are pushing banks towards everybody wanting to do the same type of business - 60per cent mortgages in nice areas to people with nice incomes. There is a real danger of....a race to the bottom."

He said recruiting the right staff was not easy, with banking no longer an attractive career for graduates, top directors liable for prosecution if the bank failed, and morale low. "I don't see many people skipping to the offices of banks these days thinking what a good day I'm going to have."

He said even the best relationship managers still in RBS were "lacking guidance" because they were told "there is a big income target you need to hit and here is a list of 45 things you can't do".

Mr Weir, who until 2006 headed up 2600 RBS staff in 130 locations selling SME loans, said: "It was all about driving revenues, the culture put a lot of pressure on the credit department. My understanding is that these days those targets are regularly missed, that gives the opportunity to change people, people leave."

Dr Parker Hood of Edinburgh University outlined all the changes in banking regulation since 2009, but said much of it was "politicians who needed to be seen to be doing something". He said the former Financial Services Authority had tried to include every possible activity of a financier in its handbook, but it "could not regulate human nature".