The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) expects to complete its enforcement investigation into alleged mistreatment by Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LON:RBS) of small business customers by the end of next month, Reuters has reported. The lender’s turnaround unit Global Restructuring Group (GRG) was at the centre of allegations that the bailed-out bank had forced small company clients out of business to acquire their assets on the cheap.
RBS’ share price has been steady in London this morning, having inched 0.19 percent higher to 262.50p as of 09:42 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped into the red and currently standing 0.64 percent lower at 7,654.08 points. The group’s shares have added about 4.6 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a 2.6-percent rise in the Footsie.
FCA to complete probe next month
Reuters reported last night that FCA Chief Executive Andrew Bailey had told Parliament that his expectation was that the watchdog would wrap up the investigative part of its probe into RBS’ alleged mistreatment of small business clients before the end of July. He, however, could not say whether there would be enforcement action related to the lender’s GRG division.
Lawmakers and small businesses have criticised the FCA for not bringing its investigation to a speedier conclusion and publishing the findings.
“We are going through extensive amounts of evidential material,” Bailey told parliament’s Treasury Select Committee.
Analysts on RBS
Berenberg Bank, which sees RBS as a ‘buy,’ boosted its price target on the shares from 300p to 340p at the end of last month, while Goldman Sachs retained its ‘neutral’ stance on the company, without specifying a price target on the stock. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip lender currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 293.42p.