Monday, 29 May, 2017

South African Watchdog Accuses 17 Banks of Currency Rate Fixing

Banks face sanctions over collusion FX Rigging Probe Emerges Back in South Africa as Regulator Seeks Fines
Juana Turner | 17 February, 2017, 00:27

They manipulated the prices of bids and sometimes created fake bids for profit.

The 10 percent that the Competition Commission seeks from 14 of the banks and financial institutions to be held liable for from their annual turnovers is, though important, actually nearly next to nothing compared to the crime that they have committed and its consequences on our economy and people - especially the workers and poor who are languishing in high levels on persistent class inequality, unemployment, peanut wages and poverty as a result of exploitation in production by capitalist bosses and in banking and finance by capitalist banks and financial institutions. These include Barclays Africa and Citigroup, Bloomberg reported.

Major worldwide banks have had to pay out billions of dollars in fines since a global scandal in 2013 over the rigging of foreign exchange markets.

The National African Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) has reiterated its call for the establishment of a black-owned bank in the wake of the looming prosecution of 17 banks that were allegedly colluding in price-fixing in the foreign exchange market.

JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.

Financial Times reported that global banks have now paid more than $10bn in relation to the forex scandal, exceeding the $9bn paid by a larger group of institutions to settle the Libor rigging claims.

"The regulator's 10-percent recommendation" signals that South Africa's watchdog may be gearing up to open settlement, although it did not indicate whether the fines will be imposed on the global revenues of each bank or just to their domestic arms.

The South African rand lost nearly half its value against the US dollar over the past five years as the country struggled through an economic crisis.

The ANC on Wednesday said the acts of corruption the banks have been accused of have exposed the ethical crisis in the South African banking sector.

However, another opposition party, the Democratic Alliance says the timing of the case is suspicious, given that in his State of the Nation address last week, President Jacob Zuma referred to the competition authorities as one of the tools that would be used to drive radical economic transformation forward.

Several banks have already said they will cooperate with the authorities.

Zwane, who is Minister of Mineral Resources, was accused of being part of the Gupta clique in 2016 when he erroneously announced that the Cabinet would recommend to Zuma that he set up a judicial inquiry into the banks after they had closed the family's bank accounts.

The Commission added that the cases will be brought under anti-trust rules, which effectively limit the class action to South African claimants.

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