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Treasury: Price fixing allegations may be proof of poor practices

The Competition Tribunal confirmed it would be investigating after 17 banks were accused of price fixing in international markets.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG – The National Treasury says if the case against 17 banks accused of manipulating the currency are found to be true, it will prove that there are poor practices and ethical standards in the market.

This week, the Competition Tribunal confirmed it would be investigating after the banks were accused of price fixing in international markets involving the value of the rand to the dollar.

Local banks including Absa Bank,Standard Bank and Investec have committed to working with authorities.

If found guilty, they may be fined 10% of their annual turnover for nearly a decade.

Treasury's Ismail Momoniat says the Competition Tribunal's process should be allowed to run its course without fear, prejudice or undue influence.

“I think many people are jumping the gun because the information that we know is only that the Competition Commission will be prosecuting 17 banks for certain product abuses. We do not know anything more than that.”

Treasury says it must also be noted that the Reserve Bank is a banking supervisor and not a market conduct regulator.

The department has called for the harsh punishment of perpetrators, describing them as having unbridled greed and the potential to collapse both local and global financial systems.

(Edited by Neo Koza)

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