ANC coming down hard on banks implicated in price-fixing scandal

Muriel SparksFeb 17 , 2017

The commission said in a statement it has been investigating a case of price-fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency pairs involving the rand since April 2015.

It had found that, from at least 2007, the banks had a general agreement to collude on prices for bids, offers and bid-offer spreads for the spot trades in relation to currency trading involving US Dollar/Rand currency pair. Major worldwide banks have had to pay billions of dollars in fines since a global scandal in 2013 over rigging foreign exchange markets.

The South African Communist Party condemns in the strongest terms possible, the manipulation of our economy by foreign and local banking and finance monopoly capital, and welcomes the decision of the Competition Commission to refer a case of collusion by foreign and local banks and financial institutions to the Competition Tribunal of South Africa for prosecution.

Bank of America, JPMorgan, Standard Chartered, Commerzbank, Macquarie Group, Australia & New Zealand Banking Corp, Standard Bank Group, HSBC and BNP declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg.

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The Commission is also seeking an order declaring that the banks are liable for the payment of an administrative penalty equal to 10% of their annual turnover.

A member of the African National Congress Youth League protests in front of ABSA Bank against what they argue is the bank benefiting from an apartheid-era bailout, in Durban, South Africa, January 26. "Without a doubt, it further raises a question of the extent to which the currency was manipulated with politically motivated intentions", spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

Global giants Barclays, JP Morgan and HSBC are among 17 banks named as part of the two-year investigation.

"The law should now be allowed to take its course".

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The commission said traders of the respondents primarily used trading platforms such as the Reuters currency trading platform to carry out their collusive activities.

Now it's South Africa's turn to host a scandal, BBC reported.

Investec, Standard Bank of SA and Absa Bank are among those involved. "Politically, the South African government must commence processes of establishing a viable, efficient and sound state bank which will insulate our country from the callous thirst for maximum and immoral profits pursued by the existing bank", he said.

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