FCA has published its final report on its investigation into the RBR GRG group’s treatment of SMEs. Its last report was nearly a year ago, and at that time FCA explained its plan to undertake a comprehensive investigation to see if it could take any action against the bank or any individuals.
Given the business of the group was largely unregulated, FCA has concluded it cannot use its powers to discipline for misconduct, and that there is no reasonable prospect of success in any action against senior management for lack of fitness and propriety.
FCA concluded that, while GRG fell short of the standards clients expected, there was no evidence that RBS artificially distressed SMEs or otherwise transferred them to the group when it was not necessary. And, even where there was mistreatment of customers, FCA’s powers were limited.
FCA notes that, since the GRG incident, the SMCR and extension of FOS’ scope have been put in place – each of which could have meant a different outcome.