The Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined £14.5m for what the FCA has described as “serious failings” in their advised mortgage sales business.
The FCA said today that they had fined RBS and its NatWest business a total of £14,474,600.
The businesses were said to have failed to provide their customers with suitable advice. The FCA looked at sales which took place in 2012 and decided that in over half of the cases examined, the suitability of the advice provided was not clear.
One of the biggest failings was the failure of affordability assessments to properly consider a customer’s budget when making a recommendation. They also failed to properly advise customers who were looking to consolidate their debts and the appropriate mortgage term.
FCA director of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott, said: “Taking out a mortgage is one of the most important financial decisions we can make. Poor advice could cost someone their home so it’s vital that the advice process is fit for purpose. Both firms failed to ensure that their customers were getting the best advice for them.
“We made our concerns clear to the firms in November 2011 but it was almost a year later before the firms started to take proper steps to put things right. 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.”
Senior management at RBS have apologised to customers and said that previous working practices had been changed.