RBS’s Global Restructuring Group Apologises

RBS’s Global Restructuring Group apologises to thousands of customers following pressure from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

This is a two-part blog covering the events of RBS’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG) ‘misleading’ practices.

In this first release we will look at a brief time line of events and what lead to the public owned Bank to apologise. Next week our concluding blog will consider the practical implications and human cost of GRG’s actions over time.

RBS Failed Consumers

At long last after much coaxing RBS and their GRG Department of old have admitted to ‘failings’. Full-page adverts in the broadsheets with an apology from Ross McEwan the CEO at RBS sees them accepting that they failed “some SME customers”.

Up until the last month RBS totally denied any responsibility at all. Various investigations including an incredibility protracted one by the FCA (with a report still expected in the New Year), came to nothing.

I may be cynical but for only the recent exposure by BBC’s Newsnight, Buzzfeed and the excellent Andrew Verity, then this matter would have stayed on ‘the back burner’. Essentially RBS’s own emails found them referring to ‘dash for cash’ and ‘creating defaults’ and some of Lord Tomlinson’s findings and other aspects of RBS conduct are now being accepted as true.

So, a £400 million provision has been made and RBS is to compensate customers wronged by GRG, over time.  £100 million is being used to run and administer this provision/fund. However, all of this is too late.

People who have and had a valid case may pursue the Bank, but this will undoubtedly be a protracted process which RBS must be very careful in dealing with. Many cases will have passed in to some form of Insolvency and the awards may come from Liquidators and alike. If there is any form of ongoing litigation, then again difficulties will arise. These are just two examples of the challenges faced by claimants here.


A brief timeline of events:

  • 2005 – 2008, RBS goes crazy worldwide in lending terms, especially here in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
  • The then FSA resides over a lending frenzy and nothing is done…… ‘asleep at the wheel’ is a regular comment!
  • September 2008, the most incredible financial crash starts.
  • RBS rescued with Government intervention in November 2008….. we all now own 79% of it.
  • GRG goes into overdrive as a recovery unit, in UK and Ireland.


Monumental Consequences

By way of perspective it is essential to remember that 8 years have passed since the crash, and still the new board at RBS are struggling with the consequences of the actions of those at the helm pre-2008. That shows how monumental this was and is – 8 Years!

The FCA has had a difficult task here in trying to tidy up the 2008 crash. That said their report on GRG is still awaited 3 years from its commencement.

So, that is where we find ourselves is this plotted history of GRG to date and surrounding events.

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