The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has raided Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) as it launches an investigation in to the price-fixing of loans to professional services companies such as law firms.
In a statement Barclays said it had approached the OFT after members of its professional services team were approached from outside the bank “in a manner which we regarded as inappropriate”. The bank said it reported the incident on 17 March.
The investigation is the latest probe to be kick-started by the OFT in the last couple of years. The watchdog is investigating a number of financial institutions over bank charges and last year imposed a record fine of £121.5m on British Airways over fuel surcharge price-fixing. In the fuel charges investigation Virgin Atlantic was granted leniency after blowing the whistle on its co-conspirator.
Clifford Chance and Linklaters declined to comment on the current investigation.