The competition watchdog has imposed penalties of almost $1 million in total on 10 financial advisory (FA) firms for infringing the Competition Act. The decision is the first of its kind made against firms in the financial services industry.

The 10 were found to have engaged in an anti-competitive agreement in 2013 to pressurise their competitor iFast Financial to withdraw its offer of a 50 per cent commission rebate on competing life insurance products on the Fundsupermart.com website.

iFast is the parent of online unit trust distributor Fundsupermart.