July 31, 2018 / 10:31 AM / a year ago

MPs call for watchdog powers to regulate company loans

FILE PHOTO: The Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Charles Randell, speaks at a Reuters Newsmaker event, in London, Britain July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s financial watchdog should have powers to regulate bank loans to small businesses after it was unable to take action against Royal Bank of Scotland over its treatment of some customers, MPs said on Tuesday.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said earlier on Tuesday it had no powers to punish RBS over how its turnaround unit dubbed the Global Restructuring Group (GRG) treated some firms.

“It will be disappointing and bewildering for those who got caught up in GRG’s actions that the FCA is not able to act,” said Nicky Morgan, chair of parliament’s Treasury Committee.

“This demonstrates the need for a change in how lending for SMEs is regulated. The Government should stand ready to introduce any legislation required when it sees the outcome of current reports on redress and should also urgently consider what additional powers the FCA requires to act in cases such as GRG.”

Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Emma Rumney

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