MPs To Publish FCA’s Confidential RBS Report

U.K. policymakers are reportedly ready to release a confidential report penned by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) summarizing its investigation into the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) over the financial institution’s alleged misconduct surrounding small business (SMB) customers, The Guardian reported Monday (Feb. 12).

Members of Parliament (MPs) said they would publish the report after some of its contents were leaked, as the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee and the FCA spar over its publication. The FCA, which released a summary report of its findings, said it’s not required to release the full report; MPs have criticized the FCA for leaving out what they consider to be crucial details of the agency’s investigation into RBS’ Global Restructuring Group (GRG).

While the FCA is not expected to release the report, the publication said MPs are ready to make it public once they receive it themselves.

The probe focused on allegations that the GRG mistreated small businesses and forced them into insolvency.

Leaked portions of the FCA’s report include troubling anecdotes about RBS’ treatment of SMBs. The GRG reportedly told its staff to let businesses “hang themselves,” reports said, while another leak said one GRG manager was “banking on the table,” shouting and threatening the boss of one business working with the GRG.

While the FCA said it did not find evidence of deliberate mistreatment of SMBs for its own profit, regulators did say the bank mistreated small businesses under the GRG. In about 16 percent of cases, the FCA said it “appears likely to have caused material financial distress” on those businesses.

“A leaked version of the report does not change the FCA’s obligation to comply with the law in order to get the report published,” a spokesperson for the FCA said. “The FCA wrote to the Treasury Committee last week to set out the next steps we are taking.”