Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) has hit back at Labour MP Clive Lewis for claiming that the taxpayer-controlled bank misled MPs about the scale of the bank’s mistreatment of small businesses, The Telegraph reports. The news comes amid calls for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to publish the full report into the bailed-out lender’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG) which was at the centre of allegations that the bank, rescued by the UK government, had forced small company clients out of business to acquire their assets on the cheap.
RBS’ share price has fallen deep into the red this morning, having given up 1.41 percent to 279.60p as of 09:40 GMT. The shares are underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.37 percent lower at 7,144.36 points.
RBS hits back
The Telegraph reported yesterday that RBS Chairman Sir Howard Davies had written to Labour MP Clive Lewis, denying that he and the lender’s chief executive Ross McEwan gave misleading evidence when they were grilled by the Treasury select committee last week.
Lewis has received a full unredacted version of the FCA’s report into RBS’ GRG division and this week used Parliamentary privilege to claim that RBS’ CEO and chairman were responsible for ‘deliberately misleading’ the Treasury committee when they gave evidence.
In his letter to Lewis, RBS’ chairman denied that he and Mr McEwan had misled MPs.
“I can assure you that we did not,” he wrote, as quoted by the newspaper.
Pressure on FCA
Sir Howard’s comments came as the Treasury committee gave the FCA a deadline of next Friday to publish the full report. The Telegraph, however, quoted the watchdog’s chief executive Andrew Bailey as saying that this ultimatum will be difficult to meet as it is yet to embark on the process of getting consent for publication from those individuals named within it.