The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has appointed consultancy Promontory Financial Group and accountancy firm Mazars to lead its skilled persons (s166) review into the failures around the Royal Bank of Scotland's (RBS) lending practices to small firms.
The report will examine the bank's treatment of business customers in financial difficulty amid allegations that it had put businesses into default so it could boost profits.
The decision by the regulator to launch an independent s166 review followed damning reports by Sir Andrew Large into the bank's lending practices and, separately, by Dr Lawrence Tomlinson into banks' treatment of customers having financial problems.
The first stage of the review will examine RBS' treatment of a sample of customers referred to its Global Restructuring Group and whether any poor practices identified are widespread and systematic.
If this is found to be the case, the second stage of the review will focus on identifying the root cause of the issues and make recommendations to address any shortcomings identified, the FCA said.
It added: "While commercial lending is not a regulated activity under FSMA, if the findings reveal issues which come within [our] remit, [we] will consider further regulatory measures."
The FCA expects to publish the outcomes from the review later this year.
Powers to appoint independent external reviewers for s166 reviews date back to last April when the FCA came into being. The previous regulator could only ask a firm to review itself.
Partner Insight Video: Advisers have had to adapt to the changing investment landscape.
Investment trust savings scheme