RBS pays fine after disclosing pricing information on accounting loans

Sensitive pricing information on loans to large accounting firms was shared
by the Royal Bank of Scotland to its rival Barclays, an Office of Fair Trading
investigation has found.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has agreed to pay £28.59m after admitting
breaches of competition law, according to an OFT statement released moments ago.

Members of RBS’s Professional Practices Coverage Team disclosed generic as
well as specific confidential future pricing information to staffers at Barclays
between October 2007 and February or March 2008, according to the statement.

The OFT said the RBS disclosures touched on loans to large accountancy firms,
among a range of other professional service industries.

“The information concerned the pricing of loan products to large professional
services firms, such as solicitors, accountancy and real estate firms, in
respect of which RBS and Barclays are the main providers,” the OFTsaid in a

Barclays brought the matter to light and, under the OFT’s leniency policy,
escaped penalty.

Ali Nikpay, OFT senior director of cartels and criminal enforcement, said it
was important that companies operating in the UK consquences for this behaivour
which can incur huge penalties.

“This case underlines the OFT’s commitment to protecting competition in the
financial services sector. It also highlights the strong benefits of acting
promptly to report anti-competitive conduct to the OFT and of co-operating with
such investigations,” he said.

Read the full OFT statement:
RBS agrees
to pay £28.5 million penalty for disclosing pricing information to

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