Romans CEO Peter Kavanagh (pictured, below) has released a statement following today’s news that it is one of four Berkshire agents found by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to have broken competition rules and participated in a price-fixing cartel.
The statement says: “In June 2017 senior directors of Romans became aware that, some years ago, a small number of Romans Residential Sales executives across a few branches had acted in a manner totally contrary to the standards and values of the company.
“We immediately alerted the CMA about this matter and have assisted with the CMA’s subsequent investigation under its leniency programme.
“We also undertook our own investigation and, based on our findings, have taken the appropriate disciplinary action against those individuals involved.
“We also reviewed and strengthened our training, management and compliance procedures to ensure that all our staff act with integrity at all times and adhere to the company’s high ethical standards.
“We are truly sorry that the judgement and behaviour of these individuals did not meet the standards of behaviour expected by our people, our customers and our colleagues in the industry.
“As the investigation by the CMA is ongoing, we are unable to comment further at this time.”
What does the NAEA say?
“Agents must be aware of competition law; there’s no excuse for collusion. Activities such as price-fixing are not in the consumers best interests and means they might not be able to secure the best deal when selling a property,” says Mark Hayward, Chief Executive, NAEA Propertymark (left).
“We have been promoting the CMA’s Stop Cartels campaign to educate agents about price-fixing, market sharing and bid rigging. We continue to urge all our members to adhere to current legislation to ensure best practice.”