FCA says outsider will assess RBS lending

People stand near a branch of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in London November 1, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's financial watchdog said it will appoint an independent professional to look at the business lending practices of Royal Bank of Scotland following two damning reports alleging it sought to profit from troubled customers.

The Financial Conduct Authority also said it is writing to all other relevant banks "seeking confirmation that they are satisfied they do not engage in any of the poor practices alleged in the reports."

RBS, which is 82 percent owned by the government, has been accused by government adviser Lawrence Tomlinson of pushing struggling small firms into its "turnaround" unit, so it could charge higher fees and interest, and take control of their assets.

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Huw Jones)