The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has appointed Promontory Financial Group and Mazars to conduct an independent skilled persons report under section 166 of the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) 2000.

The report will examine Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) treatment of business customers in financial difficulty and consider allegations of poor practice set out in the report by Dr Lawrence Tomlinson and referenced in Sir Andrew Large’s report.

The first stage of the review will consider RBS’ treatment of a sample of customers referred to its Global Restructuring Group. This will include some cases where customers have already raised concerns with Dr Tomlinson, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills or the FCA.

The review will also consider whether any poor practices identified are widespread and systematic. If this is the case, the second stage of the review will identify the root cause of these issues and make recommendations to address any shortcomings identified.

The FCA expects to publish the outcomes from the review in Q3 2014. Whilst commercial lending is not a regulated activity under FSMA, if the findings reveal issues which come within the FCA’s remit, the FCA will consider further regulatory measures.

Frequently asked questions

Q1: On what basis has the independent reviewer been appointed?

Q2: How has the FCA sought comfort that the independent reviewer is free from conflict / truly independent?

Q3: Will the independent reviewer seek to engage with Dr Tomlinson? How will you ensure that this engagement is adequate?

Q4: What is the timeframe for RBS’s Clifford Chance review?

Q5: What further regulatory action will the FCA take?

Q6: Will all customers who have contacted Dr Tomlinson be reviewed?

Q7: How many customers will be included in the sample for the FCA’s independent review? How will they be chosen?

Q8: Should customers who think they might be affected get in touch with the FCA?

Q9: What should I do if I have concerns about my treatment by RBS Global Restructuring Group?