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Treasury Select Committee hires barrister to check regulators report summary into how RBS treated companies in difficulties

The TSC said today that it has appointed barrister Andrew Green to check by October 27 if the Financial Conduct Authority's summary closely reflects the main report
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The FCA has refused to publish the main report, saying it was never meant to be public and that a summary would be made available

The Treasury Select Committee (TSC) has hired a barrister to check if a summary of a report by regulators into how Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (LON:RBS) treated companies in difficulties is comprehensive and fair.

The Financial Conduct Authority has refused to publish the main report, saying it was never meant to be public and that a summary would be made available.

READ: RBS 'challenger' fund under attack by new lenders and politicians as Santander set to benefit

But in a sign of how lawmakers are losing patience with the watchdog, the TSC said today that it has appointed barrister Andrew Green to check by October 27 if the FCA's summary closely reflects the main report.

In a letter posted on its website, written to FCA CEO Andrew Bailey, TSC chair Nicky Morgan said:  "On receiving the adviser's assessment, the committee would decide how to proceed, and the arrangement would be without prejudice to its formal powers to require that the FCA produce the report,"

"The committee wants the maximum possible transparency to be brought to this long-standing issue," he added.

Morgan concluded: "In any case, the long-awaited summary should be published as soon as possible. The committee's review is not a reason for further delays."

Majority state-owned lender RBS has admitted some wrongdoing over its handling of small businesses, but has said there was no evidence it pushed companies into bankruptcy.

FCA welcomes "further dialogue" with TSC

The FCA said that it has already asked an independent external counsel to confirm that the watchdog's summary is a fair and balanced account of the full report's findings.

The regulator added: "We welcome further dialogue with the TSC on providing assurance about the publication of the summary."

READ: RBS and Lloyds boosted by Credit Suisse upgrades with 'soft' Brexit expected

The full report is based on a so-called skilled persons report conducted by Promontory consultancy in 2014 and the FCA has said that reports of this kind were compiled on the understanding they won't be published.

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