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RBS fined £5.6m over reporting blunders

TAXPAYER-OWNED Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined £5.6m by a City watchdog for failing to properly report millions of transactions made on wholesale markets.

The Financial Conduct Authority found that the bank had breached reporting rules on more than a third of its transactions made between November 2007 and February 2013.

In total, the bank failed to properly report 44.8 million trades, and failed altogether to report 804,000 transactions during the period, the FCA said. A transaction report provides information on individual transaction carried out on financial markets that identifies the financial instrument, the firm that undertook the transaction and the counterparty to the transaction.

Most of the errors involved using an incorrect reference code which made it impossible for the FCA systems to identify the counterparties to a transaction. Other inaccuracies included using the wrong timestamp, firm reference number or venue; incorrect prices; duplicate reporting; incorrect identifier for ‘over the counter’ derivatives; and incorrect description for OTC derivatives.

According to the FCA, the problems with RBS’ own systems were compounded by the takeover of ABN Amro Bank in October 2007.

“These failures are particularly concerning because the FCA already provides extensive guidance to firms on how to submit and check these reports, and has taken action against seven firms, including Barclays and Credit Suisse, for similar reporting errors,” said Tracey McDermott, the FCA’s director of enforcement and financial crime.

RBS agreed to settle at an early stage of the investigation, and received a 30% reduction of its fine.

In a statement, RBS said it “fully co-operated with the regulator throughout the investigation.

“We regret the failings that were uncovered and have subsequently made significant investments in our systems and controls in this area.” RBS said.

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