A LAWYER who has spent much of the past 10 years fighting legal claims against Royal Bank of Scotland is looking to pull together a large group of professionals to better fight claims against financial institutions.

MBM Commercial partner Cat MacLean has launched the Financial Claims Networking Group to “raise awareness of the changing nature of banking claims” so that professionals such as accountants and financial advisers are better able to spot when it may be appropriate to take legal action.

The initiative is being supported by the all-party parliamentary group on fair business banking, a cross-party group of backbench MPs that was set up to “prompt solutions to the problems created by bank misconduct towards small and medium sized enterprises”.

The group’s director of policy Heather Buchanan will attend the network’s first event, which has been scheduled for the end of September.

Ms MacLean said there is a need for such a network because “there is no doubt this area is far more complex than previously thought”, meaning there is a growing need to share knowledge between customers and a whole range of advisers.

“We are reaching out to customers, whether individuals or SMEs, and to fellow professionals who may be working on behalf of those who may have claims against banks or other financial institutions,” she said.

“Unfortunately, our banks and financial institutions remain in denial about the damage they have done to many individuals and business.

“Many people still require specialist legal and accounting advice and accounting preparation to even get their claims to first base.’’

Last year Ms MacLean launched MBM Veritas - a joint venture between her firm and Edinburgh financial advisory firm Veritas Treasury - to help former clients of RBS’s controversial Global Restructuring Group navigate the bank’s complaints process.

MBM Veritas was set up a month after RBS announced a compensation scheme for former GRG customers following allegations that the unit forced SMEs into bankruptcy before buying their assets at knock-down prices and selling them on at a profit.

While the bank refutes those claims, RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said last year that “mistakes were made” when dealing with customers of GRG, leading the bank to set aside £400 million to refund fees paid to the unit.

The announcement of the networking group comes after City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority last week refused to publish a report it commissioned in 2014 into GRG’s practices.

Despite pressure from Treasury Select Committee chair Nicky Morgan, FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey said the organisation would only publish a summary of its findings because it felt it was not in the public interest to make the full report available.

A spokesman for the RBS-GRG Business Action Group, which represents more than 500 businesses affected by the GRG’s actions, called the decision “shocking and unconscionable”.

“Mr Bailey’s job is to protect the public from financial malpractice,” a spokesperson for the action group said.

“If he finds it distasteful to share his organisation’s findings with the public, he should step aside.”

Meanwhile, RBS is facing the prospect of fresh legal action from shareholders who took part in its 2008 rights issue after a group that was time barred from taking part in a settlement earlier this year looked to instruct solicitors.