Belfast Telegraph

City regulator bows to pressure over inquiry into RBS collapse

The City regulator has bowed to pressure and said it hopes to reveal details of its inquiry into the collapse of Ulster Bank parent Royal Bank of Scotland by the end of March.

In a letter to the Treasury Select Committee, Financial Services Authority (FSA) chairman Lord Adair Turner said the watchdog would seek the necessary permission from RBS to make public key findings, although he stressed it would not be a "blow-by-blow account".

The decision follows calls for the FSA to remove the secrecy surrounding its RBS probe, with the chairman of the committee joining demands for Lord Turner to publish details.

Late last month, the FSA ruled out action against former RBS bosses, including Sir Fred Goodwin, after finding no evidence of fraud or dishonest activity in the lead-up to the financial crisis.

But the watchdog did not release the results of its 18-month investigation, saying the Financial Services and Markets Act prevented it disclosing information in the absence of consent.

Treasury Select Committee head Andrew Tyrie proposed in a letter to Lord Turner this week that the Act permitted a summary to be published if consent was sought.

Lord Turner agreed it was "extremely unsatisfactory" not to be able to publish a public account and said the FSA was working towards gaining consent from RBS and "a number of third parties".

"We do not believe it appropriate to publish these in full, but now propose that we ask RBS to give its permission for the FSA to use the information gathered as a key input to the development of a report," he wrote.

RBS is now 83%-owned by the taxpayer after being bailed out.