Call for tougher penalties for bank executives who rig exchange rates

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Non-profit organisation, Public Interest South Africa, says harsher punitive measures need to be imposed against senior executives of banks that rig the bank exchange rate.

London-based Standard Chartered Bank is among 28 local and international banks accused by the Competition Commission of manipulating the rand/dollar exchange rate between 2007 and 2013.

Standard Chartered reached a settlement with the Competition Commission last week after admitting to rand manipulation and paid an administrative penalty of R42-million.

Other banks elected to make their case at the Competition Appeal Court last week.

Public Interest SA spokesperson, Tebogo Khaas explains, “We wish authorities could actually put more emphasis on effecting punitive measures as a deterrent to those involved in this type of white collar crimes whose effects are long-lasting on the economy. In fact, we would wish for the legislature that’s the National Assembly to consider introducing legislation that would seek to ensure that executives involved in those companies also get to be levied with punitive fines just as the companies themselves.”

UK-based Standard Chartered Bank admits to Rand manipulation: 

This week, the Competition Commission said the banks involved in the alleged rand manipulation made about a trillion rands a day between 2007 and 2013, the Divisional Manager for Cartels at the Competition Commission Makgale Mohlala told the Competition Tribunal.

Five of the 28 banks have admitted to taking part in the alleged foreign exchange manipulation 16 years ago. The other banks have gone to the courts to appeal whether South Africa’s competition authorities have the jurisdiction to prosecute or have the material facts to prosecute.