Standard Chartered Bank has pleaded guilty to currency manipulation of the South African Rand between 2007 and 2013, the Competition Commission has confirmed.
In a Press statement, the commission confirmed the forex litigation between the New York State Department of Financial Services and the South African Bank adding that it will consider the impact of the court order in SA.
“The Competition Commission has noted a consent agreement, which subsequently became a court order, between Standard Chartered Bank and New York State Department of Financial Services. In the consent order, Standard Chartered pleaded guilty to currency manipulation,” it said in a statement.
The Commission noted that it had referred to the Tribunal for prosecution of a collusion case against several other banks including; Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Chase & Co, JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A, Investec Ltd, Standard New York Securities Inc, HSBC Bank Plc, Credit Suisse Group, Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd, among others.
After conducting its investigations the allegations of price-fixing involving the ZAR since 2015, the commission said it found that, “from at least 2007, the respondents 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.
“Further, the commission found that the respondents manipulated the price of bids and offers through agreements to refrain from trading and creating fictitious bids and offers at particular times.
Citibank pleaded guilty and was fined more than R69 million and it committed to cooperate with the commission and give evidence against the other banks.
“Since February 2017, the commission has been engaged in protracted litigation with the rest of the banks, including Standard Chartered Bank, on pre-trial issues such as jurisdiction of the South African authorities and disclosure of the commission’s evidence.”the statement stated.