MPs call for public inquiry into banks’ mistreatment of small business customers
- The call is made in a letter from the APPG to FCA boss Andrew Bailey
- The FCA recently said it could not take any action over the plundering of small businesses by RBS’s global restructuring group
An influential group of MPs is demanding a full public inquiry into the banks’ mistreatment of small business customers.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking wants an investigation into ‘the complex, and often incestuous, relationships between financial institutions, their numerous advisers and related professions, and the complex regulatory framework that is supposed to uphold the highest standards’.
The call is made in a letter from the APPG to Andrew Bailey, chief executive of City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority.
Letter: FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey
The FCA recently said it could not take any action over the plundering of small businesses by RBS’s global restructuring group. It said shortcomings at RBS fell outside its regulatory remit – and that it found no evidence of dishonesty or a lack of integrity among senior management.
APPG chairman Kevin Hollinrake said this stance had left the APPG ‘disappointed and extremely concerned’.
Lib Dem peer Baroness Kramer, who was on the parliamentary commission on banking standards, backed the APPG, saying an inquiry is needed ‘to restore trust’.
A review by advisory group Promontory found no evidence that RBS deliberately drove small businesses to the wall for profit, but it did detail cases where bankers had extracted huge and often arbitrary fees.
The APPG also said it would like any public inquiry to cover scandals about other banks’ treatment of small businesses.
The Mail on Sunday is campaigning for a tribunal or extended ombudsman service to sort out disputes between banks and small firms.