Competition watchdog revives rand rig case, adding more local banks to alleged manipulation cartel

By Jacqueline Mackenzie

(Bloomberg) – South Africa’s Competition Commission has filed with the Competition Tribunal a new charge sheet against 28 banks that are accused of manipulating trading in the rand-dollar currency-pair, the regulator said.

This follows the Competition Appeal Court ruling which ordered that a new charge sheet be filed, the Competition Commission said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. The case relates to collusion to fix prices and divide markets in respect of the USD-ZAR currency pair, it said.

The new referral provides more details on the operations of the alleged currency manipulation cartel, its effects on South Africa, and expands the scope of the prosecution to include five more banks, the commission said. The new banks added are Nedbank Group, Rand Merchant Bank and Standard Americas.

“The banks must file their answers to these charges, which have now been further substantiated,” Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said in the statement.

“These charges will not go away. Some of the individual traders involved in the currency manipulation have been dismissed, but their employers – the banks, are yet to be held accountable in South Africa,” Bonakele said.

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