FCA rejects call to publish full RBS report

Andrew Bailey

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has rejected calls to publish a report into allegations that Royal Bank of Scotland’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG) bankrupted small companies to pick up their assets on the cheap.

Instead, the FCA said it would soon release a detailed summary.

The refusal sets up a public clash between the FCA and the UK parliament’s Treasury Select Committee next month.

The Treasury Committee wanted the report published because it has already been leaked to the BBC.

FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey argued in a letter made public by the Treasury Committee on Friday that it was not in the public interest to publish the report in full because “Section 166” reports were conducted on the basis they would be kept private.

Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan said: “Seven years since it was shut down, there are still conflicting accounts of what really happened to customers referred to GRG.

“The leak and selective reporting of the skilled persons’ report, which the FCA has had for almost a year, has added to the confusion.

“This situation is unsustainable.

“The committee recognises that such reports are not intended for publication, and should in normal circumstances remain confidential.

“But the report is now in the hands of an unknown number of third parties.

“If closure is ever to be brought to this long-running issue, Parliament and the public need the account ordered by the regulator.

“And so we consider that the public interest in publication in this specific case is overwhelming.

“Following my letter to Mr Bailey earlier this month, committee colleagues and I have been overwhelmed by messages from those who consider that their businesses and livelihoods were destroyed by RBS’ GRG.

“Those affected have a right to know what really happened.

“The committee is due to see the FCA next month, and I have no doubt that these issues will be raised.”