Financial Conduct Authority chief Andrew Bailey has written to MPs on the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) to tell them that it will not publish its full report into RBS’s now defunct turnaround unit, Global Restructuring Group, which had been accused of sending profitable small and medium sized businesses under in order to make a profit.
The RBS GRG Action Group and its barrister, Lord Pannick QC, are understood to be discussing whether to seek a judicial review of the decision.
Copies of the report have already been leaked to the BBC and TSC chairman Nicky Morgan and small business owners say it should be published in its entirety.
The FCA plans to publish a summary.
A spokesman for the Action Group said: “The decision not to publish has shaken confidence in the regulator.
“The FCA seems to be dragging its feet at a time when its duty is to see justice done.
“The report is no good to anyone if it’s hidden away under lock and key.”
The report is said to have found that only 10 per cent of the struggling businesses that were sent to GRG for turnaround returned to the main bank.
It is also believed to have found that 92 per cent of GRG customers were subject to “inappropriate actions” during their dealings with it.
Federation of Small Businesses national chairman Mike Cherry said: “The cold hard fact is that the FCA set up its GRG review three and a half years ago. It is certainly not in the public interest for the regulator to investigate but not publish the results. It should also publish recommendations on how to avoid this happening again.”
Last week the TSC published letters between Morgan and Bailey, who claimed that publishing the full report could undermine the FCA’s ability to supervise firms because reviews are conducted on the basis that they will remain private to ensure co-operation.
Last November RBS chief executive Ross McEwan apologised for the way that the bank had treated some of its small business customers in the past and set aside £400million to compensate them.