The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has agreed to pay a fine of £28.59 million (reduced from £33.6 million to reflect its admission and co-operation with the OFT) after admitting breaches of competition law between October 2007 and February or March 2008.
The matter was brought to the OFT's attention by Barclays under the OFT's leniency policy, where a company which is the first to report its participation in an infringement may qualify for immunity from penalties. Provided it continues to co-operate, Barclays is not expected to pay a fine in this case.
The OFT investigated the matter and found that RBS employees had unilaterally disclosed generic and specific confidential future pricing information to their counterparts at Barclays Bank. The information was disclosed in the course of a number of contacts at social, client or industry events or through telephone conversations. The OFT found evidence that Barclays took the information into account in determining its pricing.