FCA frustrates RBS report bid by MPs

9 February 2018, 15:30

An attempt by MPs to force the publication of a report into RBS's controversial Global Restructuring Group (GRG) continues to be frustrated by the City watchdog.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) told Treasury Select Committee chair Nicky Morgan that it was unlikely to meet her 16 February deadline for the full report to be published. However it is prepared to send the committee a copy of the report by this date.

FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey said more time was needed to give anyone criticised in the report a fair opportunity to respond to that criticism prior to publication.

Mr Bailey said: "Given these legal impediments to which we are subject, we think it is highly unlikely that it will be possible for the FCA to publish the report by 16 February."

The FCA has been criticised for not releasing the report, which looks into allegations that the bank - still more than 70% taxpayer owned - mistreated small business customers.

Only a summary has been published so far, although the full version has been leaked to the media and some MPs.

Mr Bailey has reminded MPs that publishing the report without the legal checks set a worrying precedent and he asked them not to do so using their parliamentary privilege.

The FCA is also conducting a further investigation into RBS, which Mr Bailey described this week as being "well advanced" and weeks away from a conclusion.

He told MPs on Wednesday: "We view the things that happened (at GRG) very seriously. I think it is very bad, very bad, shocking."

Mrs Morgan said: "I am pleased to see that the FCA is trying to get the report agreed for publication or handed to the committee to meet its deadline."

She is concerned that as a version of the report is in the hands of third parties, it may enter the public domain at any time.

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