The City regulatory has fined Royal Bank of Scotland almost £14.5 million for “serious” failings in the lender’s mortgage advice.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said that, having reviewed 164 mortgage sales from 2012, only two were considered to meet the overall standard required in a sales process.
The watchdog’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority, had made its concerns clear to RBS and its NatWest arm in November 2011, but Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said it took almost a year for the group to start taking action to put things right.
She added: “Where we raise concerns with firms we expect them to take effective action to resolve them without delay. This simply failed to happen in this case.”
Although the FCA said there is no evidence that the failings have caused “widespread detriment” to customers, RBS and NatWest will contact about 30,000 consumers who received mortgage advice in the relevant period, to allow them to raise any concerns they have about the advice they received.
RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said: “Taking out a mortgage is one of the biggest moments in our lives, and our customers have every right to expect the very best service when making this decision.
“It is clear that in the past the bank just didn’t get this right, this was unacceptable and should never have happened.”