The Royal Bank of Scotland Group  

RBS review into advice problems extended

RBS review into advice problems extended

The Royal Bank of Scotland is still under review by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for historic advice problems.

In its half-year results, the bank revealed it was still carrying out a review into historic investment, insurance and pension sales, stemming from an FCA investigation into the advice provided by a number of banks and building societies in 2013.

RBS revealed it had set aside £204m to date in relation to this issue, of which £116m had been used by 30 June 2018.

This was due to finish at the end of the first quarter of 2018 but the deadline was extended because of additional products being brought into the scope of the review, with completion now anticipated by the end of the third quarter of 2018.

The second phase, covering sales in 2010, started in April 2018 and is targeted for completion by the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. 

In February 2013, the FCA's predecessor, the Financial Services Authority, announced the results of a mystery shopping review it undertook into the investment advice offered by banks and building societies.

As a result of that review, the FCA told RBS to carry out a past business review and customer contact exercise on a sample of historic customers which received investment advice on certain lump sum products between March 2012 and December 2012.

Following discussions with the FCA after this was completed, RBS agreed to carry out a wider review and remediation exercise relating to certain investment, insurance and pension sales from 1 January 2011 to 1 April 2015.

RBS also agreed with the FCA it would carry out a remediation exercise, for a specific customer segment who were sold a particular structured product, in response to concerns raised by the FCA with regard to the target market for the product and how the product may have been described to certain customers.

Redress has been paid to certain customers who took out this structured product.

This comes as RBS reported lending growth of £0.7bn for the first half of 2018, although new mortgage lending was marginally less than in the first half of last year.

Most of the mortgage growth was in the owner-occupied portfolio. New mortgages in the buy-to-let portfolio remained subdued as tax and regulatory changes in the UK deterred borrowers, the bank said.

The bank wrote £137.4bn for UK mortgages in the six-month period to June 2018, up from £136.7bn in December 2017.

Its figures for UK owner occupied mortgages stood at £121bn in June 2018, which was up from £119bn in December 2017.

UK buy to let business achieved £17bn in June 2018, down from £17.8bn in December 2017. 

In June 2018, 75 per cent of customers in the UK mortgage portfolio were on fixed rates, which 35 per cent on five-year deals.

In addition, 96 per cent of all new mortgage completions were fixed-rate deals, 52 per cent of which were five-year deals, as customers sought to minimise the impact of potential rate rises.