Tuesday 9 October 2018 2:21 pm

Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Ross McEwan calls for small business lending regulation


The chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has called for small business lending to be regulated in the UK, despite avoiding disciplinary action for the mistreatment of SMEs by the bank's Global Restructuring Group (GRG). 

The lack of oversight for SME lending allowed RBS to dodge punishment by the Financial Conduct Authority this year, despite a report by the City watchdog that concluded the GRG had treated customers unfairly.

Read more: Fraudster-linked RBS action group accused of overcharging investors

“I think somebody needs to be there to put a second view around the SME market place,” Ross McEwan said in an interview with the Press Association.

“Some sort of regulation around that seems to be needed.”

An FCA review of GRG found that it did mistreat small firms, and some companies accused the bank of pushing them into bankruptcy. 

In July the watchdog said it could not take action against the bank due to "very limited" powers in unregulated areas.

"It is important to recognise that the business of GRG was largely unregulated and the FCA’s powers to take action in such circumstances, even where the mistreatment of customers has been identified and accepted, are very limited," FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey said at the time. 

Read more: RBS in talks with the Bank of England over share buyback plans