Advisers Sneaked Secrets out of RBS’s GRG

Professionals from Royal Bank of Scotland’s subsidiary Global Restructuring Group (GRG) were feeding confidential informational onto rival companies, it has been reported.

Workers from London’s advisory firms who had offered their skills to GRG free of charge, reportedly brought industry information back to their employers.

This is seen as a breach of confidentiality and integrity, according to insolvency experts.

GRG was disbanded in 2014 but has since come under fire from the Financial Conduct Authority on the treatment of its customers. The financial watchdog claims the bank subsidiary targeted their financially vulnerable clients with excessive fees. The report remains unpublished.

While the use of seconded staff can act as a learning exercise for staff, the restructuring group was criticised, and RBS ended its own use of seconded staff back  in early 2015.

Business consultants, Promontory, who conducted the investigation into GRG, found numerous cases where the use of seconded staff presented “a clear conflict of interest”.

These conflicts ranged from emailing customers from outside GRG to prioritising employers on tender lists.

Nonetheless the investigation did find that none of these actions within GRG impacted the customer directly, or were done to incite customers to make bad business decisions.

The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Promontory are due to be called before MPs to discuss what the Treasury has called “widespread bad practice” within GRG.

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