RBS braces for a brutal report around claims it wrecked companies to steal their assets
- Claims were comprehensively dismissed by the Financial Conduct Authority
- But a new study will highlight cases where RBS staff behaved badly
- It aims to set the record straight on RBS’s notorious Global Restructuring Group
A bombshell report on a toxic business turnaround unit at Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to be published within days.
Released by the City watchdog, the study aims to set the record straight on RBS’s notorious Global Restructuring Group (GRG).
This rogue unit was meant to save struggling firms from collapse during the Great Recession, but is instead accused of hitting them with huge fees.
A bombshell report on a toxic business turnaround unit at Royal Bank of Scotland is expected to be published within days
There have been persistent claims that it wrecked companies to steal their assets and bolster RBS’s financial position in the wake of a £46 billion bailout by taxpayers.
These claims were comprehensively dismissed by the Financial Conduct Authority watchdog in an initial summary of its findings, and the final report is expected to conclude there was no systematic policy to destroy businesses.
However, it is thought the study will highlight a large number of cases where RBS staff behaved badly – with appalling treatment of individual business owners at risk of losing their livelihoods.
A damning GRG memo entitled ‘Just hit budget!’ has previously been published by MPs, listing a set of principles bankers should follow to squeeze as much cash as possible out of their clients.
One section reads: ‘Rope: Sometimes you need to let customers hang themselves.
‘You have gained their trust and they know what’s coming if they fail to deliver.’ The memo was not written by senior management at RBS.
The FCA has been accused of a whitewash over the scandal, which the watchdog first started investigating in 2014.
It commissioned a report by consultant Promontory that detailed damning findings against RBS. But the FCA then refused to make the document public until eventually forced to release it by MPs.
The Promontory report was the basis for a much larger probe by the FCA itself.
In preliminary findings last summer, the watchdog said that there was widespread poor treatment of customers at GRG but because it did not regulate business banking, no one could be punished.
The final report due out shortly will set out detailed reasons for this decision but the conclusion is likely to be the same overall. RBS and the FCA declined to comment.
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