The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has hit RBS with a fine for £28.59m for breaching anti-competition rules by disclosing its pricing information to rival Barclays.
An OFT investigation found RBS and Barclays engaged in anti-competitive practices in relation to the pricing of loan products to large professional services firms.
The fine is part of an earlier agreement between the OFT and RBS, in which RBS admitted to certain breaches of competition law and agreed to co-operate with the OFT.
Barclays brought the matter to the OFT's attention and under the OFT's leniency policy has not been fined.
The fair trading watchdog found between October 2007 and February or March 2008 individuals in RBS's Professional Practices Coverage Team disclosed generic and specific confidential and commercially sensitive future pricing information to their counterparts at Barclays.
The disclosures took place through a number of contacts on the fringes of social, client or industry events or through telephone conversations.
Ali Nikpay, OFT senior director of cartels and criminal enforcement, says: "The disclosure of confidential future pricing information to competitors is unlawful.
"This decision sends out a strong message that such practices, even where they arise in the context of informal contacts between competitors, can result in substantial penalties for the companies involved.
"It is therefore important that companies take steps to ensure an effective compliance culture that is understood by individuals throughout their organisation."
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