Britain’s financial watchdog faced sharp criticism on Wednesday from former small business owners who say they have been mistreated by big banks.

Responding to questions from the influential Treasury Committee, the ex-business owners said the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was ill-suited to handle serious complaints against the lenders it regulates.

The questioning centred on how small firms could be protected in future and came ahead of a parliamentary debate on Thursday on redress for victims of banking misconduct.

Asked what would have been the best course of action following the regulator’s investigation into malpractice at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L), Nikki Turner said: “Sack the FCA and start again.”

Turner helped uncover one of the largest financial frauds in Britain at the Reading branch of HBOS, a unit of Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L), after it destroyed her family firm, and she now heads small business group the SME Alliance.

She said the FCA’s objective to protect market integrity could prevent it from properly fulfilling its other remit – to protect consumers.

– By Emma Rumney, 9 May 2018, Reuters

Link to Reuters.

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