South Africa: Banks accused of rigging currency price

Feb 21, 2017

The Competition Commission in a two-year investigation said the banks united and coordinated fabricated bids and offers in order to control the market.

South Africa's Competition Commission has accused the nation's local and international banks of rigging the currency price. The Competition Commission in a two-year investigation said the banks united and coordinated fabricated bids and offers in order to control the market. The Commission fingered 17 banks in the scandal, including global giants Barclays, JP Morgan and HSBC. The allegations which go back as far as 2007 may lead the banks to face prosecution at South Africa's Competition Tribunal. In its report, the Commission called for the banks to be fined 10% of in-country annual turnover. However, banks have agreed to cooperate with the Commission. In this vein, Citi Bank is to pay a fine of almost R70 million for colluding on selling and buying the rand. The bank settled with the Competition Commission and it filed the settlement with the
Competition Tribunal on Monday. "This settlement was done to encourage speedy settlement and full disclosure to strengthen the evidence for prosecution of the other banks'" said the Commissioner, Tembinkosi Bonakele. South African President Jacob Zuma welcomed the Commission's investigation, stating that the government was set to act against the distortion of the financial markets to protect the nation's economy.