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FSA to investigate RBS over customer complaints

Royal Bank of Scotland is to be investigated by the Financial Services Authority over the way the part-nationalised bank has handled customer complaints.

RBS revealed that the regulator is to carry out the complaints probe in a statement buried in the bank’s annual financial results released yesterday.

The statement from RBS says: “In January 2010, the FSA informed RBS Group that it intended to commence an investigation into certain aspects of the handling of customer complaints.

“The scope of the proposed investigation, including which businesses and subsidiaries are affected, is not yet clear.

“RBS Group and its subsidiaries intend to co-operate fully with this investigation.”

A spokeswoman from RBS could not comment on the investigation, saying it was confidential.

A spokeswoman for the FSA says the regulator does not comment on individual firms.

The regulator has already said publicly that firms’ complaints handling is a priority and that it will be looking into this issue further.

The FSA is currently reviewing the way firms manage customer complaints and the findings of this review are due to be published in Q2 this year.

It has also emerged that the Office of Fair Trading is conducting its own separate investigation into RBS.

The OFT could not comment on the specific nature of its investigation, but says that it is in relation to anti-competitive conduct relating to “the provision of loan products to professional services firms.”

An OFT spokeswoman could not comment further on what this entails but says: “The OFT’s investigation is at an early stage.

“The OFT will not be in a position to conclude whether it considers the law has been infringed until it has completed its investigation and assessed the available evidence.”


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  • JT 5th April 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I’m glad that at last, RSB is being called to account for its behaviour. I can’t for the life of me understand why the tax payer has to prop up this unprofitable conglomoration even when in the teeth of its failings, they can find a billion pounds to pay out in bonuses – they should pay back their debts to the tax payers of this country first before racing back to the trough for more money for themselves. If they can’t trade ethically and fairly then break it up and sell the assets.

  • Maurice Edgington 26th February 2010 at 7:03 pm

    I understand that RBS companies Direct Line and Sainsburys Bank do not even acknowledge complaints from borowers experiencing difficulties. This is surely against FSA or OFT rules. I also understand that their debt chasing procedures are particularly invasive. The sooner the name RBS disappears from our minds the better and any remaining subsidiaries should also rebrand. My advice to any RBS buyer is to rename the bank as fast as posible. Any other business with their reputations would have disappeared long ago. Is the connection Scottish as per the outgoing Prime Minister?? HBOS is similar, no coincidence there! Life was so much better when it was NatWest, Coutts etc..

  • Simon Bancroft 26th February 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Absolutely about time to! RBS are the most obsructive and unwilling lender to help those experiencing genuine financial difficulties. Let’s hope heads roll!

  • TM 26th February 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Very good and about time!Lets hope the regulator can find the cause and reccomend the remedial actions quickly as per their own guidelines.
    My clients with RBS seem to have so much trouble. We used to introduce to them but have ceased due to the feedback.
    They surley now need reorganising with a more lean and cost effective structure?

    Q1,why are we subisdising a loss leader?
    Q2, Is this a venture capital offer?

    if it was the FSA would want it to be accuratley descibed ?

  • Andrew Botte 26th February 2010 at 4:22 pm

    It’s all in the name Real Bad Service – RBS.

  • Philip Curnow 26th February 2010 at 4:05 pm

    About Time too ! I made a complaint in mid 2009 about a single premium that Nat West sold to me against my specific, written instructions and I did not find out until 2 years later whan I noticed that the loan was not reducing as fast as it should – and RBS then confirmed it had added the policy to my loan anyway – and eventually offered me £300 in Jan 2010 as an ex-gratia payment instead of the £1,000 they charged me – I had to take it to the Ombudsman before they would even consider reinstating me in a position that I should have been if they had not sold me the policy I rejected !.