Some banks accused of manipulating the Rand commit to cooperate with investigation

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Absa, Nedbank and Rand Merchant Bank have responded to the new charge sheet that the Competition Commission has filed accusing 28 local and international banks of manipulating the foreign exchange rate relating to the Rand.

The new charge sheet follows the Competition Appeals Court’s ruling last year in which it instructed the Commission to provide more clarification about its charges.

Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele explains the charges:

During arguments in court, the legal representatives of the international banks argued that the Commission had no jurisdiction over activities that take place outside the country.

Nedbank and Rand Merchant bank, First Rand Bank and Standard Bank are the new additions to the latest charge sheet against the alleged currency manipulation cartel case which dates back to 2014.

Rand Merchant Bank says its internal investigation has found no wrongdoing or unethical behaviour on its part. The bank says it investigated this matter in detail when publicity around it first emerged in 2015.

Absa indicated that it has proactively cooperated with the Competition Commission from the outset of its investigation and will continue to do so through the Tribunal.

Nedbank says it is not yet ready to respond but says it remains committed to free and fair markets within a healthy and competitive landscape.

Gary Booysen is Director at Rand Swiss: