The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published the final report on its investigation in to Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) treatment of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers transferred to its Global Restructuring Group (GRG). This follows the update provided in July 2018 on the investigation.
In that update, the FCA said that given the serious concerns that were identified in the independent review it was only right that it launched a comprehensive and forensic investigation to see if there was any action that could be taken against senior management or RBS. Also, that it was important to recognise that the business of GRG was largely unregulated and the FCA’s powers to take action in such circumstances, even where the mistreatment of customers has been identified and accepted, are very limited.
The FCA concluded that taking action was therefore always going to be difficult and challenging but after carefully considering all the evidence it concluded that its powers to discipline for misconduct do not apply and that an action in relation to senior management for lack of fitness and propriety would not have reasonable prospects of success. The FCA also found no evidence that RBS artificially distressed and transferred otherwise viable SME businesses to GRG to profit from their restructuring or insolvency.