The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is willing to finally publish a report into Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s (LON:RBS) controversial restructuring unit, The Times has revealed. The move came as the bailed-out lender’s chief executive Ross MacEwan signalled that the bank would not object.
RBS’ share price has lost ground in London this morning, having given up 0.75 percent to 289.80p as of 08:38 GMT. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing at 7,587.97 points, flat in percentage terms. The group’s shares have added some 31 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a near seven-percent rise in the Footsie.
FCA to publish long-awaited report
The Times reported this morning that the FCA had said that it would produce the full report into RBS’ Global Restructuring Group (GRG) once it had the consent of the small number of individuals cited in it. The division was at the centre of allegations made by Lawrence Tomlinson, an adviser to the Business Secretary, in a report in November 2013, that RBS had forced small company clients out of business to acquire their assets on the cheap.
The FCA review of the division has already been leaked and reportedly shows that more than 90 percent of businesses put into the division have suffered ‘inappropriate action’ against them by the bank. The watchdog, which has published several summaries, however, has refused to issue the whole report, arguing that the move would not be in the public interest.
Group signals it will not object
The Times notes that the reversal of the FCA position came after RBS’ chief executive Ross McEwan told the Treasury select committee he would not object to the report being issued. While McEwan had previously defended the GRG unit, saying in 2014 that it “turns round the vast majority of businesses that it works with,” he conceded yesterday that this was not the case for the small and medium-sized companies handled by the unit, only one in ten of which were returned to the main bank.