Burnham-On-Sea’s Abbott and Frost 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).

As 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, were 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.

Abbott & Frost says: “Abbott & Frost has a 65-year history serving Burnham-On-Sea, its residents and surrounding area. The company is Burnham’s longest established estate agent. Abbott & Frost is a family business and still retains its family connection with the original founders.”

“The recent episode regarding the CMA represents a dark day in our company history. First and foremost, we wish to apologise unreservedly to all those Abbott & Frost customers who may have been affected by this. In addition, we wish to express our apologies and regret to the people of Burnham, and also to the loyal staff who serve us and our customers well.”

“The arrangement, which occurred over two years ago, between February 2014 and March 2015 is now historic. During that period our fees remained varied, however a number were agreed at 1.5%. Abbott & Frost has voluntarily submitted a procedure and compliance policy to the CMA ensuring that it could not enter into another competition arrangement in the future.”

“Abbott & Frost takes its commitment to its clients very seriously and to this end we can confirm that we will be attempting to contact every Abbott & Frost client whose property we sold between the dates above, at a sole agency rate of 1.5% or above, in order that we can voluntarily offer those customers financial reparation for what occurred. If you believe Abbott & Frost sold your property on a sole agency basis between the dates mentioned and you were charged a 1.5% fee, or above, we would ask you to make contact with the Burnham office at your earliest convenience.”

“Abbott & Frost has relied on and prospered by the loyalty and support of its customers and we are completely committed to providing a first class service at a reasonable price. We wish to rebuild the trust and good regard of the Burnham people towards our company.”