Television presenter Noel Edmonds claims to have a copy of a secret report into allegations RBS bankrupted small companies to buy up their assets on the cheap.
The “Deal or No Deal” presenter said on his website he has “obtained” the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) report, which the regulator has refused to make public.
The FCA commissioned an investigation in 2014 into allegations that RBS’ Global Restructuring Group pushed some of its small business customers into bankruptcy in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The FCA said last November that RBS was guilty of “systematic” mistreatment of distressed small businesses that came to it for help, but cleared the bank of the most serious allegation that RBS forced businesses into default for its own benefit.
The BBC published part of the leaked report last month but the full report has yet to be made widely available.
Edmonds has become a somewhat unlikely crusader against big banks following his own personal experience with Lloyds Bank. He attempted suicide in 2005 after he lost his former business Unique Group, and is now suing Lloyds bank for the loss, which he says was in connection to the HBOS fraud (Lloyds acquired HBOS in 2009).
Edmonds’ website is part of a “‘David and Goliath’ battle” against Lloyds, it says. Edmonds hopes “possibly thousands and maybe even millions of people in the UK” could benefit.
On Friday, a short post appeared on the website claiming Edmonds had obtained a copy of the RBS report and suggesting he plans to write more about it. He said he would “explain why” FCA CEO Andrew Bailey “is possibly correct” in his assessment that publishing the full report is not in the public interest.
The post also described RBS’ Global Restructuring Group (GRG), which the bank had promoted as a “hospital for sick businesses,” as a “business abattoir.” RBS declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider. The bank has agreed to pay out £400 million to businesses that went through its controversial restructuring process.
Although the FCA said it would publish a detailed summary of the report in due course, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee Nicky Morgan said earlier this month there was an overwhelming case for publishing the full report, since it was now in the hands of a number of third parties.