RBS fined £28.6m for price-fixing loans

21 January 2011

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has been fined £28.6 million for future price-fixing loans with Barclays Bank.

According to an investigation by the UK’s Office for Fair Trading (OFT), executives in the RBS Professional Practices Coverage Team admitted sharing both generic and future pricing with their counterparts at Barclays Bank.

Barclays is thought to have “taken into account” the confidential information when making decisions on its own pricing.

However, Barclays avoided being penalised as it informed the OFT of the infringement - under the leniency rules put in place by the OFT a firm which admits its part in a breach of regulations is granted immunity from such a penalty.

Ali Nikpay, OFT senior director of Cartels and Criminal Enforcement, said: “Any company that discloses confidential future pricing information to its competitors risks a substantial penalty.

“It is important that companies operating in the UK understand the seriousness of such conduct and ensure effective competition compliance throughout their organisation.”

The information handed over to Barclays by RBS concerned loans to professional services firms dealing in accountancy and real estate.

By Jim Ottewill

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