THE owner of Clydesdale Bank has clashed with a claims firm suing it over complex loans as court action potentially worth hundreds of millions of pounds looms.

Clydesdale Bank plc, now part of CYBG, and its former owner National Australia Bank (NAB) have filed defence papers at the High Court of London in response to allegations regarding business loans provided to hundreds of small and medium-size customers between 2001 and 2012.

CYBG, which spun out of NAB in 2016, denies the allegations, which it claims have “no merit”, and has vowed to defend its position in court.

But RGL Management, which has issued its first claims, representing 149 claimants, in the Chancery Division of the High Court, has declared the 300 pages of defence fail to answer the allegations. The firm, which is bidding to recover hundreds of millions of pounds from the bank, says its claimant group is now in excess of 2,000 and continuing to grow.

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James Hayward, chief executive of RGL, said: “We have levelled serious allegations at Clydesdale and National Australia Bank on behalf of our claimant group. There is nothing in the lengthy, expensive and obfuscatory defences that we didn’t expect. The bottom line is they have failed to answer the allegations in our particulars of claim. Our claim book is continuing to grow, and we have great confidence that we will secure significant compensation for the thousands of businesses damaged by the banks’ actions.”

A CYBG spokeswoman said: “There is absolutely no merit in the allegations made in RGL’s claim and we have made this clear in our defence. In recent years the bank has dedicated substantial effort investigating all historic SME conduct issues and addressing customers’ complaints. There is no substance to the set of allegations now being made by RGL and the bank intends to defend its position robustly.”