By Jonathan Davies

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been fined £14.5m by the Financial Conducts Authority (FCA) for “serious failings” in its mortgage advice.

The City regulator said the banks failed to make sure they were giving sound advice to mortgage customers.

RBS’ fined could have been nearer to £20 million but settled the fine early and qualified for a 30% discount. It’s the latest in a long line of fines the bank, which is still 80% owned by the taxpayer, has been hit with.

The FCA said that a two reviews of sales in 2012 found that “in over half the cases the suitability of the advice was not clear.”

RBS and its Natwest business failed to take into consideration the full extent of customers’ budget, and weren’t clear about which mortgage term was most suitable.

The FCA said: “Only two of the 164 sales reviewed were considered to meet the standard required overall in a sales process.”

Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said: “Poor [mortgage] advice could cost someone their home so it’s vital that the advice process is fit for purpose.

“Both firms failed to ensure that their customers were getting the best advice for them.”

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