The FCA said RBS had failed to properly report - and in some cases failed to make any report – on 37% of transactions made in wholesale markets between November 2007 and February 2013.
Tracey McDermott, the FCA’s director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “Effective market surveillance depends on accurate and timely reporting of transactions. We have set out clear guidance on transaction reporting, backed up by extensive market monitoring, and we expect firms to get it right.
As well as a financial penalty, firms can expect to incur the cost of resubmitting historically incorrect reports. We will continue to take appropriate action against any firm that fails to meet our requirements.”
RBS made some 44.8 million transactions without full reporting data and 804,000 transactions with no data at all, breaching FCA rules on transaction reporting and its requirements for firms to have adequate management and controls. The FCA said most of the errors involved an incorrect reference codes, making it impossible to identify the transaction's counterparties, as well as incorrect timestamp, firm reference numbers or incorrect prices.
The FCA said the problems were compounded by RBS' acquisition of ABN Amro Bank, which it said should overcome “given the considerable resources available to RBS”.
The fine was reduced by 30% from over £8m as RBS agreed to settle at an early stage of the investigation.
RBS released a statement on the matter: "RBS fully cooperated with the regulator throughout the investigation. We regret the failings that were uncovered and have subsequently made significant investments to our systems and controls in this area."
The FCA has also taken action against seven other firms, including Barclays and Credit Suisse, over similar errors.