Last month, we reported that Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive, Ross McEwan, was facing calls to be re-questioned by MPs on the Treasury Select Committee over allegations that he had previously provided false testimony when giving evidence.
In particular, earlier this year, Mr McEwan had been asked by MP, Alister Jack, whether he was aware of any criminal conduct or allegations within the Bank when being questioned by the Treasury Select Committee (TSC). In spite of his resolute response that he was not, it was later revealed that a former member of staff was under investigation by Scottish police for extorting bribes from customers to ensure support from the bank.
In an initial response on the issue, Mr McEwan had attempted to avoid the point and had apologised if the evidence he had provided had been “taken in the wrong way”. It was claimed that the police investigation had not been seen as relevant as it was viewed as being separate from the Global Restructuring Group (GRG) and mistreatment of SME customers that he was being questioned on.
As stated within The Times this week, it was claimed that Mr McEwan had not revealed the investigation as he did not believe it fell within the context of the questions being asked. Chair of the TSC, Nikki Morgan, has however since pointed out that other questions were asked on the day which was not confined to the issue of GRG.
The Times has now published details of a letter sent to Ms. Morgan, providing a further apology on the issue.
Within the letter, it is stated, “had I considered Mr. Jack’s question from a broader perspective . . . my response to the committee would have been broader. I apologise for that and any confusion that my answer has caused. I did not intend in any respect to mislead the committee.”
Given the rapidly changing position of the bank and Mr McEwan, it is unlikely that the latest apology will do much to satisfy MPs and former customers of the bank who have been closely following the issues surrounding GRG. Although the GRG complaints scheme has now closed to new complaints, the issues surrounding RBS’s treatment of SME customers is far from over and it is highly likely the matter will continue to face debate for some time to come.
If you have been affected by misconduct at the hands of your bank, then Seneca Banking Consultants are here to help. Please feel free to get in touch for a no obligation chat on 01204 322 805.