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FCA under fire for giving banker key role in RBS investigation

The FCA has come under fire from campaigners for handing a key role in its inquiry into the treatment of small businesses by RBS to an investment banker.

The Times reports that the FCA feared it did not have sufficient expertise in commercial lending, so decided to appoint an external consultant to its investigation into how RBS’ Global Restructuring Group treated small firms: former JP Morgan managing director Rene Poisson.

The paper says that it was previously undisclosed that Poisson Management had worked on the project, and also notes that the appointment has been challenged because Poisson himself appears to have a limited history in the small business lending market.

While a so-called “skilled person” is normally appointed to conduct what is known as a Section 166 investigation where the FCA has concerns over the conduct of a business, the regulator picked financial consultancy Promontory for this, and would not normally rope in additional parties such as Poisson on an ad hoc basis, the paper claims.

A source tells the paper that an open tendering process should have been conducted and the appointment should have been disclosed.

The FCA confirmed to the paper that Poisson provided technical advice but did not influence Promontory’s findings, while Promontory declined to comment and Poisson was unavailable for comment.


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FCA fines BoS £45.5m for failing to report suspicions of fraud

The Financial Conduct Authority has fined Bank of Scotland £45.5m for failing to report suspicions of fraud at an HBOS Reading branch. The watchdog reports that the bank noticed suspicious conduct within its Impaired Assets team from early 2007, but failed to “understand and appreciate the significance of the information that it had identified despite […]

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Industry reacts to FCA advice proposals

Mortgage experts have reacted to the Financial Conduct Authority’s consultation document outlining proposals for changes to its mortgage sales requirements. The regulator wants to make it easier to offer execution-only options to borrowers and, where advice is given, for advisers to explain if they have not recommended the cheapest mortgage. Intrinsic mortgage network managing director […]

Former RBS executive appointed FSCS chief exec

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has announced former Royal Bank of Scotland executive Caroline Rainbird (pictured) will replace Mark Neale as its chief executive. Rainbird has held a variety of executive positions across regulatory, operational, investment and banking roles, including head of regulatory affairs with RBS between 2009 and 2017. She will assume the chief […]

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Healthcare predictions for 2015 from Jelf Employee Benefits

The continuing fall-out from the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA’s) review, the rise of the private GP and digital engagement will be the primary focuses in the private healthcare industry during 2015, according to Iain Laws, managing director, healthcare and group risk, at Jelf Employee Benefits.


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