ROYAL Bank of Scotland bosses have been accused of deliberately misleading MPs investigating alleged abuses of vulnerable business customers amid claims the mistreatment was “systematic and widespread”.

In a black day for the Edinburgh-based bank, shadow Treasury Minister Clive Lewis claimed he had seen an unredacted copy of the Financial Conduct Authority’s investigation which appears to contradict RBS bosses’ claims to the Treasury Select Committee that cases of mistreatment were “isolated”.

He said: “In one shocking passage of the report out of hundreds [of passages] the bank boasted one family business was set to ‘lose their shirts’ so RBS could get a ‘chunky equity deal’.

“Furthermore it is clear the summary of the report the FCA has published is what I would politely describe as a sanitised version.”

In a damning attack, Mr Lewis said he now believes that RBS executives, including chief executive Ross McEwan and chairman Sir Howard Davies “misled the Treasury Select Committee in their evidence and had a stated policy of misleading members of this House”.

The allegation that bank executives had set out to mislead MPs overshadowed news from RBS of a sudden partial U-turn on controversial plans to shut down 62 of its branches across Scotland.

The plan, which would have seen RBS cut more than a third of its total branches, sparked furious claims that it was abandoning rural Scotland. Yesterday, as pressure was already growing on the FCA to release details of its investigation into the bank’s handling of small businesses hit by the financial crisis it confirmed that ten branches have been given a reprieve until the end of the year.

The latest blow to the beleagured lender follows claims by MP's that the banks' treatment of small businesses may be the "largest theft anywhere, ever" as it carved up firms like a "Sunday roast".

MP's are now calling for criminal charges to be brought against nbankers at the controversial Global Restructuring Group, which had 12,000 small firms as clients at one point, with most going on to be liquidated.      

In a further blow to the state owned bank Scottish Premiership side Hamilton Academical announced plans to launch a legal action amid claims that RBS security lapses led to it being defrauded of almost £1 million.

The club was targeted in a sophisticated scam last October, when a series of around 20 transactions saw hundreds of thousands of pounds moved from its accounts.

Its board has instructed lawyers to write to the bank in a bid to recoup half of its losses.

RBS has responded by saying it is confident that there was no breakdown in its security procedures and is working with Police Scotland to identify the culprits.

The Treasury Select Committee heard evidence from the bank’s chief executive and chairman last week over who was to blame for the failings of the banks’ Global Restructuring Group (GRG) which it is claimed left small businesses struggling to survive.

It has been suggested that the intentionally pushed small businesses towards failure, hoping to mop up their assets on the cheap.

Yesterday Mr Lewis said the unredacted copy of the FCA investigation showed that far from being isolated incidents of poor governance as claimed to the committee, the behaviour was “systematic and widespread”.

The FCA is still investigating whether to take further action over the unit’s actions between 2008 and 2011 after publishing a summary report into GRG last year.

The Labour MP has now asked for permission to hand over the leaked full report to the Treasury Committee ahead of its hearing with FCA boss Andrew Bailey on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the GRG Business Action Group, which represents more than 500 businesses put into financial distress under the division, said: “What Clive Lewis said in Parliament today is extremely worrying and surely makes immediate publication of the FCA report an urgent priority in the public interest.

“In view of the FCA’s repeated assurances that it is not favouring RBS, this is a shocking allegation. Andrew Bailey will have to explain himself before the Treasury Select Committee tomorrow.

“We were advised last week that we might still have to wait another six months before the full report is published. In view of Mr Lewis’s intervention, that time-frame is surely untenable.”

An RBS spokesman said: “The evidence we provided to the Treasury Committee accurately reflected the bank’s position. We are not clear on what basis the allegations are being made, but we would strongly deny the suggestion that we misled the committee.”