UK regulator review of RBS restructuring unit delayed until 2016

A sign is displayed outside of a branch of The Royal Bank of Scotland in central London, Britain May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Neil Hall

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's financial watchdog has delayed publication of a review of alleged mistreatment of business customers by Royal Bank of Scotland RBS.L until early 2016.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had previously said it would make an announcement by the end of this year on the first part of an investigation into RBS’s global restructuring group (GRG).

“The work is ongoing and good progress has been made, and all parties remain keen to complete this complex review quickly. An announcement will be made as soon as possible in 2016,” the FCA said in an update on Thursday.

The FCA is examining RBS’s treatment of business customers who were in financial difficulty, after the bank was accused of pushing viable firms into GRG so it could seize their assets and charge higher fees.

The FCA has hired firms Promontory Financial Group and Mazars to investigate the claims and produce an independent report.

RBS is 73 percent owned by the government and senior executives are concerned the GRG review could derail attempts to put past problems behind the bank.

Reuters reported in September that RBS executives were bracing themselves for a multi-billion-pound compensation scheme.

Reporting by Steve Slater; editing by Jason Neely