Business owners whose companies were destroyed after being placed into RBS’s restructuring division have called for the resignation of Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Global Restructuring Group (GRG) was intended to help struggling small and medium-sized businesses, but it has faced allegations that it made things worse for businesses so it could seize assets or benefit the bank.
The bank denies these allegations.
The RBS-GRG Business Action Group represents those affected by the GRG and says the FCA, under Andrew Bailey’s leadership, has unjustifiably withheld its report into what happened in the division around the time of the financial crisis.
John Bamford, a spokesman for the RBS-GRG Business Action Group, said Mr Bailey’s position as chief executive was “surely now untenable and he must resign”.
He added: “There can be no excuse for the FCA’s repeated stalling.”
The FCA declined to comment.
It comes days after it was reported that Nicky Morgan, the chair of the Treasury Committee, has written to Mr Bailey, calling for him to hand over the report’s findings.
The report was leaked to the BBC last month, and revealed 92% of “viable” firms seen by GRG experienced “inappropriate action”, such as interest charges being raised or unnecessary fees imposed.
Only one in 10 made it back to the main bank, it reported.
Image: Royal Bank of Scotland denies claims that its restructuring group behaved badly
The FCA said in November 2016 that a “full account” on its review of the former unit between 2008 and 2013 would be published, but has so far not made it public.
Ms Morgan said: “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.”
At the time, the FCA said it would “respond in due course” to Ms Morgan’s letter.
It added it had launched an internal inquiry into the leak and had “asked the other parties who had access to the report, namely RBS and Promontory, to do the same”.
Mr Bamford added: “Justice delayed is justice denied and the drip feeding of snippets from the report only adds to the anguish and torment of the individuals and families who have been devastated by the actions of GRG.
“Full transparency and disclosure is what is needed so that the RBS-GRG scandal is aired in public with victims having access to the true story of what went on.”
In November last year, RBS said it was setting aside £400m to compensate small business customers and was putting in place a new complaints process over GRG.