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Tribunal to decide on further action against banks in price fixing scandal

The Competition Commission will be informed by the Competition Tribunal as to what further action can be taken against the banks.

Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Competition Commission will be informed by the Competition Tribunal as to what further action can be taken against the banks implicated in the forex trading cartel.

Briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on economic development, Competition Commissioner Thembinkosi Bonakele told Members of Parliament that Citibank has agreed to pay a R69.5 million administrative penalty.

The commission has found a number of local and international banks have been involved in the manipulation of the rand/dollar exchange rate.

The matter is now with the Competition Tribunal.

Citibank and Absa Bank are expected to testify as the commission's witnesses.

Bonakele would not be drawn on what penalty the tribunal could impose, but used a court analogy to describe the situation.

“Prosecutors traditionally ask for a maximum but courts never impose the maximum. There is some speculation."

In terms of prosecution, Bonakele says they will coordinate with international authorities where legally possible.

“Each country takes their own interests into account when doing this.”

Committee chairperson Mathulare Coleman says she hopes the case will inform lawmakers whether there are any gaps in regulations that need rectification.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)