Britain's financial watchdog defends not sanctioning RBS over small business scandal

Credit: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Britain's financial watchdog has defended its controversial decision not to sanction lender RBS or its former executives for past mistreatment of small business customers.

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) - Britain's financial watchdog has defended its controversial decision not to sanction lender RBS RBS.L or its former executives for past mistreatment of small business customers.

The Financial Conduct Authority said it was sticking by its decision not to apply penalties for actions of RBS's former turnaround unit, the Global Restructuring Group.

"Our investigation has found that GRG clearly fell short of the high standards its clients expected but it was largely unregulated and so our powers to take action in such circumstances, even where the mistreatment of customers has been identified and accepted, are very limited," said FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey in a statement on Thursday.

(Reporting by Iain Withers, editing by Huw Jones)

((Iain.Withers@thomsonreuters.com; +44(0)207 542 3330;))

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