AN internal memo urging Royal Bank of Scotland workers to "let customers hang themselves" has been published ahead of a parliamentary probe into the institution.

Staff were issued with “tactics” and “tips” on how to leverage earnings from businesses referred to the Edinburgh-based lender’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG), the internal memo shows. The GRG unit was set up in the aftermath of the bank’s £45 billion bailout by the UK Government after the financial crash of 2008 and 2009.

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Chief executive Ross McEwan released the document, entitled “Just Hit Budget!” in response to a request from Nicky Morgan MP, chair of the Treasury Committee, ahead of a backbench business debate in the House of Commons on the treatment of the bank’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by the GRG today. It exposes aggressive tactics pursued to maximise returns from GRG customers.

In one bullet point headed “Rope”, the memo advised: “Sometimes you need to let customers hang themselves. You have then gained their trust and they know what’s coming when they fail to deliver.”

One subset refers to “Basket cases”, which are described as “Time consuming but remunerative”, while another sets out a “Deal or no deal?” scenario, which states: “No deal, no way. Missed opportunities will mean missed bonuses. You can always revisit an earlier deal.”

The memo recommends the use of facility letters, declaring: “If they sign, they can’t complain. Heads of Terms cannot be enforced.”

It also contains a list of “16 Ways to generate income”, the first of which outlines the bank’s target to achieve an average of 10 per cent premium on debt (loans). The memo declares: “They normally cannot afford this and you can then leverage an upside.”

READ MORE: Wrongdoing by RBS restructuring unit ‘driven from the top’, says victims group

Mr McEwan said the memo was written in 2009 by a “junior manager who is no longer employed by the bank” in his letter responding to Ms Morgan’s request, which was also released yesterday.

He says in his letter that the memo was circulated within one regional office and had limited distribution in two other GRG offices, stating: “At no time did it form part of GRG or RBS policy.”

Mr McEwan says in the letter: “The document was identified by the bank and proactively brought to the attention of the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and the skilled person during the review. For the avoidance of doubt, the language used by in the document was completely unacceptable and the bank does not condone it. It does not reflect bank policy or guidance, either at the time it was written or today.”

Royal Bank has faced accusations that GRG took steps to seize the assets of viable businesses to shore up its battered balance sheet following its bailout by UK taxpayers. The bank admitted it “did not meet the standard it set of itself which impacted on how it treated some of its SME customers” in November 2016. That was when City watchdog the FCA issued the initial summary of a skilled person report it commissioned into the activities of GRG between 2008 and 2013. But the FCA said then that the “most serious allegations” made against the bank were not upheld by the probe.

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The FCA has faced criticism for not releasing the full report, stating that it cannot do so for legal reasons.

The Treasury Committee will hold an evidence session on GRG on January 30.