FCA statement regarding NatWest Group

As previously set out, we have been intensifying supervisory work in relation to NatWest Group and Coutts since the widely reported events earlier this year.

We have reviewed the findings of the initial independent report, commissioned by NatWest, into decisions on potential account closures and data protection breaches. This report, and additional information we have considered, has highlighted potential regulatory breaches and a number of areas for improvement. These include:

  • the firms’ processes, systems and controls around how they consider potential closure of accounts and handle complaints from their customers.
  • the allocation of responsibilities and effectiveness of the firms' governance mechanisms.

In recent weeks, we have confirmed to both firms that we are now reviewing how the firms’ governance, systems and controls are working to identify and address any significant shortcomings. This supervisory work will include use of our statutory information gathering powers, interviews with relevant bank staff and reviews of appropriate policies or procedures.

This will also include how these issues may impact on the wider fair treatment of customers. Any complaints about handling of individual cases remain a matter for the Financial Ombudsman Service, with which we cooperate.