Competition Commission confident of case against 17 banks
The commission says it has evidence 17 banks faked bids to distort supply and demand of the currency.
JOHANNESBURG – The Competition Commission says it's confident of its case against 17 banks accused of manipulating the currency because it has evidence that they faked bids to distort supply and demand.
It announced on Wednesday that it referred the case against the banks to the Competition Tribunal, but says it does expect settlements to be reached.
The banks include local institutions like Absa Bank, Standard Bank and Investec as well as international banks like JPMorgan Chase, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC.
Competition Commissioner Thembinkosi Bonakele says they're completely sure of their case.
“It would not make sense at all to defend a case like this. It’s very strong and I would expect that a lot of banks would do the right thing and settle it.”
He says they want to make sure this cannot happen again.
“We always like it when we get into the industry that not only do we fine people, but that the conduct is stamped out completely, and this is what we would expect the banks to do.”
The commission says the banks had been co-ordinating their trades, creating false bids, and communicating their intentions through the Bloomberg instant messaging service to distort the market.
The banks named in the case are:
Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited
JP Morgan Chase & Co
JP Morgan Chase Bank NA
Standard New York Securities Inc
HSBC Bank Plc
Standard Chartered Bank
Credit Suisse Group
Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited
Nomura International Plc
Macquarie Bank Limited
ABSA Bank Limited
Barclays Capital Inc
Barclays Bank plc
(Edited by Tamsin Wort)