estate agent speaks out on price fixing fine
Taylor Hunt has given its reaction to the news that it and three
other Burnham-On-Sea estate agents have been fined more than £370,000
by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
we reported here last
week, Greenslade Taylor Hunt, Abbott and Frost Limited, Gary
Berryman Estate Agents and its parent company Warne Investments
Limited, and West Coast Property Services, have been fined a total
of £372,233 for colluding to set a minimum commission rate
of 1.5 per cent for properties in the Burnham-On-Sea area. The four
companies have all admitted to price fixing.
Taylor Hunt was fined a total of £186,054, including a 20
per cent reduction for settlement, and a reduction of 35 per cent
Clark, Greenslade Taylor Hunt's Chairman, told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"Along with three other Burnham-on-Sea estate agencies I can
confirm that GTH has been fined by the Competition and Markets Authority
(CMA) for breaking competition law relating to activities in 2014
and early 2015 in the Burnham-on-Sea area."
has co-operated with the CMA in its investigations, and this is
reflected in the leniency applied. Any discussion of commission
rates, however informal, between competing businesses, is not permissible
and the firm condemns such behaviour in the strongest terms. Activity
of this nature is a breach of GTHs high ethical standards
and is entirely inconsistent with the companys long established
values. We profoundly regret what occurred at Burnham-on-Sea."
added: "As soon as the CMA raised concerns we undertook a thorough
investigation of all offices and departments. We are entirely satisfied
that this issue resulted from the wholly misguided and inappropriate
actions of one GTH Partner, acting entirely alone, at one branch
of our group and that no other office or department was involved
in any way whatsoever. The Partners actions at Burnham-on-Sea
were undertaken with neither the consent or knowledge of other GTH
Partners or staff at any other office in our organisation."
Partner concerned recognises that his actions were a gross misjudgement.
He has apologised to his colleagues at Burnham on Sea and to the
Partners and staff throughout the firm for letting GTH and its clients
and partners down in this manner. He is completely mortified, recognises
his error and regrets his involvement in every way. Discussions
are continuing as to the individuals future responsibili ties
within the firm."
undertakes regular and full reviews of internal compliance procedures.
Additional measures have been put in place to ensure that such activity
cannot reoccur and that we continue to meet the high professional
standards that we set ourselves and which our clients expect and
will continue to receive in the future."