Have SMEs been the subject of an April’s Fool?

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Posted in:Banking and Finance, Litigation|April 1, 2016 | Join the mailing list

The further delay in the publication of the FCA’s long-awaited S.166 investigation into the activities of RBS’s notorious Global Restructuring Group (“GRG”) is no joke!

During a Parliamentary Debate on 1 February 2016, Harriett Baldwin, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, confirmed that she expected to see the conclusions of the FCA’s investigation into GRG by the end of the first quarter of the year, i.e., 31 March 2016.

The FCA’s website is still advising that an announcement will be made about the report as soon as possible in 2016. We are now 4 months in and GRG customers are losing patience with the constant delays in publishing this report.

The FCA were first appointed to conduct a review of RBS’s treatment of business customers in financial difficulty in January 2014, several proposed publication dates followed, then lapsed. Have aggrieved GRG customers been inadvertently fooled by promises of a release date and belief that the report would be published imminently? 31 March 2016 has now passed and GRG customers are left wondering whether they have any recourse against the Bank and whether the FCA will condemn GRG’s treatment of its customers and recommend a compensation scheme for those affected.

Are SMEs expected to wait much longer? Many GRG customers may face limitation issues with any proposed claims and if they wait for the report in hope of a compensation scheme being setup, their limitation date could lapse and they will lose the right to bring a legal claim. This is no laughing matter. The FCA need to report their conclusions urgently, so GRG customers can be fully appraised of the options available to them.

For more information on berg’s experience of dealing with customers affected by GRG and similar divisions, our published Banking Report 2015 can be found here.

 If you have an issue with GRG or any of the major banks’ “Specialist Turnaround Divisions,” please contact our Dispute Resolution Team on +44 (0) 161 829 2599.
The information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by berg or any of its partners or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

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