Regulation

MPs use parliamentary powers to order FCA publication of RBS report

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13th February 2018
RBS
"If the FCA doesn’t publish or provide the report by Friday, it will have breached an order of the House of Commons and may be found in contempt of Parliament."

The Treasury Committee has used its parliamentary powers to order the publication of an FCA report into RBS’ treatment of small business customers in its Global Restructuring Group.

Earlier this month, the Treasury Committee set the FCA a deadline of 16 February 2018 to publish the report.

Nicky Morgan, chair of the Committee, says if it is unable to meet the deadline, the FCA will have breached the order and "may be found in contempt of Parliament".

GRG was a support unit for troubled businesses which came under fire in 2013 after allegations that it mistreated troubled businesses to profit from their financial hardship.

In September last year, the FCA initially refused to publish the full report despite it being leaked to the press.

It later published a summary report which revealed that although the most serious allegations made against the bank were not upheld, the FCA believes there were areas in which the inappropriate treatment of customers was 'widespread'.

The FCA the pledged to "carry out a more focussed investigation" and identify whether there is any basis for further action within its powers, although commercial lending activity remains largely unregulated in the UK.

Nicky Morgan has today published a response to FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey to confirm that the Committee has used Standing Order (152)(4)(a) to order the FCA to send it the report.

Morgan said: “A version of the report is now in the public domain. The FCA has completely lost control of the publication process.

“If the FCA doesn’t publish or provide the report by Friday, it will have breached an order of the House of Commons and may be found in contempt of Parliament.

“The Committee will meet when Parliament returns on Tuesday 20th February. At that meeting, I will be asking members to agree to publish the final, unredacted report under parliamentary privilege as soon as possible.”

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