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13 June 2019

FCA fails to offer consolation to GRG customers

Responding to publication of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s report on its further investigative steps regarding Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG), Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said:

“Today the FCA has failed to provide consolation to former GRG customers who lost everything. Despite acknowledging that small business owners suffered insensitive, dismissive and aggressive treatment at the hands of GRG, the FCA is standing by its decision to eschew enforcement action against those responsible for that unfair treatment.

“Looking to the future, it’s troubling that this report does not provide assurance that the Senior Managers & Certification Regime would be effective were a similar scenario to arise again. An enhanced Financial Ombudsman Service remit is a step forward. We now need to see more transparency around the body’s success in handling small business cases to date and its capacity for taking on more complex cases from here on out.  

“Many of those subjected to systemic unfair treatment by GRG lost not only their businesses, but also their homes. We need to start thinking again about the regulation of business lending. If you’re putting personal assets on the line to secure new credit, common sense dictates that you should receive the same protections as a consumer.

“The FCA needs to wise-up to the fact that most small business owners have far more in common with everyday shoppers than they do with big corporations.”