3 Mar 2013The Scottish Mail on Sunday By Andrew Picken RBS calls in £600,000 loan to ex-boss of bank THE taxpayer-owned RBS has called in a £600,000 loan to the former boss of a rival Scottish bank. A company wholly owned by Gavin Masterton, ex-managing director of the Bank of Scotland, was allowed the loan after he personally guaranteed around half the cash. But bosses at RBS, which posted a £5 billion annual loss last week, have become irritated with the firm missing repayments and have started moves to try to get the money back. It is understood Mr Masterton’s company, Charlestown Holdings Limited (CHL), also owes money to HMRC over unpaid tax bills and has missed a number of deadlines. Mr Masterton’s complex business empire – which includes his ailing football team Dunfermline Athletic – faces an uncertain future. The public purse could lose millions as another of his firms has a separate £12 million loan from the state-backed Bank of Scotland. Also, the future of Dunfermline Athletic – which has struggled to pay wages and tax bills all season – is in doubt, as it is part of the CHL group. Over the past few weeks, we have revealed the extraordinarily close ties between the Fife businessman and his former employer. Bank of Scotland wrote off a £4 million loan to a company owned by Mr Masterton – then sanctioned the £12 million loan to another of his companies that allowed it to skip repayments for the next 35 years. A source close to the club said: ‘This RBS loan will be news to many people. ‘It feels like all these complex layers of companies and loans is finally catching up with Gavin and it looks like bad news for both the taxpayer and fans the football team.’ Dunfermline Athletic and CHL last week broke Companies House rules by failing to lodge their latest accounts. The move came as a £500,000 share issue at the football club faltered. In a separate development, it has also emerged that CHL owes Stagecoach tycoon Sir Brian Souter nearly £1 million in a loan due to be repaid next year. Mr Masterton, who retired from Bank of Scotland in 2001 with a £250,000-a-year pension, has contacted the Scottish Government for help. However, Holyrood officials insist they are only providing advice on how to reduce his team’s electricity bills. A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘While we do not intervene between energy consumers and suppliers, Dunfermline Athletic have asked us for advice on how to reduce their electricity bills. We are engaging with the club on this basis.’ Asked about CHL owing money to HMRC, a spokesman for Mr Masterton said: ‘Our client considers that your inquiries relate to commercial matters which are confidential to the parties concerned. ‘Accordingly, it is not appropriate for these to be commented on. Our client respects the right of any party he or his company transacts with to have their contractual rights and obligations remain private.’ The spokesman failed to respond to a request for a comment on the RBS loan. A spokesman for RBS also declined to comment.'