Barclays gained immunity from being fined under the Office of Fair Trading leniency policy by being the first to report the issue.
The OFT said in a statement:
The disclosures by RBS took place in the course of a number of contacts on the fringes of social, client or industry events or through telephone conversations. 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.
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.
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.