The FCA has agreed to allow the Treasury select committee arm's length access to its skilled persons’ report into the treatment of customers in RBS’ Global Restructuring Group (GRG).
Despite repeatedly rebuffing efforts to have the report published, chief executive Andrew Bailey has today agreed to the compromise put forward by Treasury committee chair Nicky Morgan last week, for independent legal adviser Andrew Green to compare the FCA’s forthcoming summary with the underlying report.
He will then provide a report to the committee setting out their assessment as to whether or not the FCA’s summary closely reflects the findings of the skilled persons’ report.
Morgan has made it a matter of principle, pushing for the report to be published in the wake of leaks and amid the threat of more to come. Bailey insisted publication of the full report did not "best serve" public interest but Morgan last week threatened to deploy rarely-used powers to compel the watchdog to do exactly that if Bailey did not agree to the compromise.
Morgan said:“The advisers will now start their work and report to the committee before Mr Bailey’s appearance at the end of the month.
“If the advisers’ report does not provide the committee with the assurances it needs, it will decide whether any further steps are required.
“There is no good reason for the committee’s review to delay the FCA from publishing its summary as soon as possible.”
A spokesman for the RBS-GRG Action Group, which represents more than 500 businesses, said: “The FCA are attempting to get themselves off the hook politically, without addressing the needs of the public or those affected by GRG. This report needs to be published to understand the full extent of the damage that the Global Restructuring Group inflicted on the British economy.
“Those affected by the GRG stand by their position: that nothing less than publication of the report in full is enough. When this report was commissioned, everyone expected it to be published. The FCA itself said it intended to publish. The only reason the FCA doesn’t want to publish now is because it doesn’t like the report’s contents.
"We thank Nicky Morgan for her intervention. But only allowing a Government appointed lawyer to examine the detail of the report is not good enough for the thousands of people whose livelihoods, jobs and businesses were destroyed by RBS. We want to see the report in full - no more excuses.”