City watchdog urged to publish leaked RBS report

Nicky Morgan MP
Nicky Morgan MP

The chair of an influential committee of MPs has demanded the City watchdog urgently publish its leaked report into the scandal at Royal Bank of Scotland’s controversial restructuring unit.

Nicky Morgan, who heads the Treasury Select Committee, warned last month’s leak to the BBC has left the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with “no control over the timing or content” of further public disclosures from the report.

In a letter to FCA boss Andrew Bailey, she urged him to secure approval from RBS for full publication of the report “without delay”.

She also asked the FCA to update the Committee on its inquiry into the leak itself and if it bore any responsibility.

Ms Morgan’s call comes as lawyers for businesses suing RBS, as well as the SME Alliance, which represents small businesses affected by the scandal, have also demanded publication of the report.

The study was commissioned by the regulator almost four years ago as part of its inquiry into its Global Restructuring Group (GRG).

The FCA pledged last November to publish a “full account” from the report, but has so far refused to make it public.

“Nearly a year later, and nearly four years since the report was commissioned, we are still waiting for answers,” Ms Morgan said.

“The report itself is now in the hands of an unknown number of third parties. The FCA now has no control over the timing or content of further public disclosures from it.

“The balance has tipped firmly in favour of full publication. I have written to Mr Bailey to urge him to secure the approval of RBS to do so, without delay.”

The BBC reported late last month that the 361-page leaked report showed 92% of “viable” firms seen by GRG experienced “inappropriate action”, such as interest charges being raised or unnecessary fees imposed.

It was also reported that only 10% of business customers put into GRG ever returned to the main bank.

The FCA said it would “respond in due course” to Ms Morgan’s letter.