Latest news is that the FCA review will not now be published until the end of 2015. This is the third delay and I wouldn’t be surprised if it drags on into 2016 or beyond.

No reasons have been given but I suspect this is the process referred to as “Maxwellisation”. This is the process whereby anyone subject to criticism in the report has the right to  see the criticism and comment in response. Those comments then have to be considered by the reports authors. It is the reason for the almost laughable delay in the Chilcot report and numerous others and has become the weapon of choice for lawyers wanting to delay and water down criticism of their client.

Two other interesting facts mentioned by Berg, a law firm acting on behalf of many small businesses claiming against RBS. Firstly, this delay may mean the report isn’t published until after the time limit for claims to be filed. Secondly, Berg note that, “RBS has appointed external advisors to launch an investigation into the treatment of small business customers. RBS have not confirmed who has been appointed. It is likely that if such a report is being carried out on behalf of RBS, the Bank will want to use the FCA’s further delay to its advantage by publishing its report first to demonstrate a proactive approach, despite its blanket denials to date and to minimise the impact of the FCA report”

I guess most of us will just have to sit and wait for the wheels of Maxwellisation to grind slowly forward before we get the chance to find out what the investigation has come up with.

 

David Bryan – Principal, BM&T

27th July 2015

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