FCA plans to publish RBS small business report within a year

City AM, 21.04.17


The long-awaited report on Royal Bank of Scotland’s business turnaround unit should be published within a year, the boss of the City watchdog has said.


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has faced criticism for not releasing the report, which it commissioned more than three years ago and received back last year, although it did publish a summary of the findings last November.


The watchdog was initially expected to publish review outcomes into RBS’ now-defunct Global Restructuring Group (GRG) by the end of 2015.


The long wait could soon be over. FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey told the BBC this morning: “Subject to the fact that we’ve got to clear the legal hurdles, I would be disappointed if it’s not within the year.”


He added:


What we will actually do is publish a very extensive summary of the report that we’ve got, but it will be extensive. I hope to bring it to a conclusion as soon as possible. And we will bring it to a conclusion as soon as possible.


It has been claimed RBS routinely forced distressed small businesses into the GRG unit, enabling the lender to profit by charging high fees and buying properties belonging to the firms at discounted prices.


The FCA revealed last November the report had discovered no widespread evidence of misconduct at RBS, although it did identify some shortcomings, such as substandard communication with the customers assigned to the turnaround division.