GRG Complaints Process

Complaints Process for customers in GRG

In November 2016 RBS announced, with the agreement of the FCA, a GRG complaints process, overseen by an Independent Third Party - Sir William Blackburne, a retired High Court Judge - and an automatic refund of complex fees paid by SME customers in GRG during the period between 2008 and 2013 (the relevant period).

In November 2017 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its summary report on the independent review of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s treatment of SME customers referred to the former Global Restructuring Group (GRG) between 2008 and 2013. The report is consistent with the summary conclusions published by the FCA in November 2016.

The FCA report also confirms that the most serious allegations made against the bank have not been upheld and that the steps we announced in November 2016 to put things right for customers remain appropriate.

The bank has previously acknowledged that, in some areas, it could have done better for SME customers in GRG and again apologises for these mistakes. Specifically, the bank could have managed the transition to GRG better and should have better explained to customers any changes to the prices or complex fees it was charging. The bank accepts that it did not always communicate as well or as clearly as it should have done and that it did not always handle complaints well.

In response to these accepted shortcomings, in November 2016 the bank implemented two steps, which the FCA has again confirmed are appropriate. These are:

1. A complaints process overseen by retired High Court Judge, Sir William Blackburne; and,
2. An automatic refund of complex fees for SMEs in the UK and ROI that were customers in GRG between 2008 and 2013.

Any customer who feels they were treated inappropriately while in GRG should make use of the complaints process. For an update on the progress of the complaints process and automatic refund of complex fees, please see immediately below.

How can I tell if I should make a complaint?

Progress update 20 October 2017

As we approach the first anniversary of the launch of the GRG complaints process we thought an update on progress would be helpful.

Our priority during the first six months was to review and refund the complex fees paid by eligible customers. At the same time, we found and trained the necessary team, and Sir William Blackburne’s team approved how we would undertake the complaints process. Since then we have gathered many millions of documents going back in some cases up to 10 years, and reviewed just under 20% of the complaints received so far. In doing so we recognised that our original process was taking too long so we have invested time and effort in redesigning the process, again with the approval of Sir William’s team. In addition we are doubling the size of the team to move faster while always ensuring that we do a thorough job and deliver fair outcomes to our customers.

All of this means that by the end of the first quarter of next year the vast majority of customers who have already complained should have received a response from us. In the meantime we appreciate your continued patience.

GRG Complaints Process

Since its announcement in November 2016, the bank has received 939 complaints from eligible customers. Of these, circa 150 files have been reviewed. It is an in-depth and rigorous process with an overarching focus on ensuring a fair outcome is achieved. Notwithstanding this, the bank has taken a number of steps to speed up the review rate, which should see half of the complaints received thus far dealt with by the end of 2017. 

If any eligible customers are unhappy with the bank’s decision, they will have the opportunity to refer their complaint to the Independent Third Party. 

We would encourage any customers with concerns about the actions of GRG during the relevant period to get in touch. Details of the eligibility criteria for access to this process are contained in the FAQs section.

Independent Third Party

If any eligible customers are unhappy with the bank’s decision, they will have the opportunity to refer their complaint to the Independent Third Party.


Frequently Asked Questions

Complaints process principles

On 1 February 2017, we updated the Complaints process principles document to provide further detail about the process for offers made by RBS and appeals to the Independent Third Party.


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