The Financial Services Institute, Inc. is committed to operating within the spirit of all federal, state, and applicable international trade regulations and antitrust laws. Activity contrary to this policy is unacceptable, whether in its members, staff, or leadership.
While many of the antitrust laws apply only to “concerted” action or “agreements,” an illegal agreement can be found even without a “handshake” or express words or writings indicating agreement. Tacit understandings, including responding to pressure, exerting pressure, or doing “what is expected” can be sufficient. An implied agreement may be inferred from actions or the result of those actions. For example, if two competitors discuss prices, and later adopt prices that are similar, a conspiracy to fix prices may be inferred even though the competitors never explicitly “agreed” to do anything. Comments made in an informal environment may be used as proof of an agreement, even though the parties’ subsequent actions actually were taken independently for sound business reasons. Thus, the safest rule of thumb is to avoid any discussions with competitors of topics, in association meetings or elsewhere, on which it would be illegal to agree. You may violate the antitrust laws by an informal verbal understanding. No written contract or express agreement is required.
To foster the intent of operating appropriately, FSI will adhere to the following policy and will publish it to its members, staff, and leaders on an annual basis.