THE SNP has joined the clamour for the financial watchdog to publish a leaked report on a controversial unit once run by Royal Bank of Scotland which has admitted wrongdoing over its handling of small business customers.

The bank’s Global Restructuring Group (GRG) operated between 2005 and 2013, with the purpose of turning around small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which were in financial distress.

However, former customers have claimed the GRG destroyed their businesses and hundreds of them have legal actions pending against Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

A leaked report for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) found that struggling firms who were placed in the GRG had only a slim chance of emerging from it.

MPs on the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) said the 361-page document should be published in full, but FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey said such reports were “not intended for public view”, as individuals had not had the opportunity to “see or comment on adverse comments” about them.

He added: “However, I recognise that the public interest justifies greater disclosure of material.

“It is therefore our intention to publish a detailed summary of the ... report.”

Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s spokesperson on the Treasury and cities, yesterday joined the calls for publication.

She said: “We support the calls to publish the report. The SNP led a debate on the need to create a financial dispute resolution platform ... and we will continue to campaign for this.”

“Ten years on from the global financial crisis, we must ensure that our economy is resilient and sustainable.

“Regrettably, we witnessed a steady corrosion of regulation that was brought in to create good practice.

“As we approach a period of long-term economic uncertainty due to Brexit, we must ensure that regulation continues to promote safe and trusted banking.”

TSC chair Nicky Morgan said the committee had been overwhelmed by messages from former customers whose firms were “destroyed” by the GRG.

She said: “The committee recognises such reports are not intended for publication, and should in normal circumstances remain confidential. But the report is now in the hands of an unknown number of third parties.

“If closure is ever to be brought to this long-running issue, parliament and the public need the account ordered by the regulator.

“And so we consider that the public interest in publication in this specific case is overwhelming.”

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking added the FCA may have overlooked the full scale of the damage the unit caused.

Lawrence Tomlinson, author of a 2013 report into the GRG, said yesterday he was shocked by the FCA’s decision not to publish.

“How can the FCA justify that publishing the full report into the mistreatment of thousands of UK businesses by RBS’ Global Restructuring Group is not in the public interest?” he said.

“I wonder whether we would be awaiting publication if the report cleared RBS’ name?”

In his reply to Morgan, the FCA boss was adamant that the full report would not be published. Bailey repeated that some of the GRG’s activities were outside the FCA’s remit, but said it was close to reaching a decision about whether a formal investigation was necessary.

“The allegations against GRG gave us concerns as to whether RBS had treated customers appropriately, in particular those in financial difficulties,” he wrote. “If substantiated, such concerns could also indicate wider issues in relation to governance and culture within RBS.”

The report had formed the basis for the FCA’s work “to determine whether a formal investigation should be undertaken against either the firm or individuals involved in GRG”.

Bailey said: “I believe that we are near to reaching a conclusion on whether a formal investigation is called for.”