Standard Bank in talks with Competition Commission in rand-rigging probe

Last week the Competition Commission announced that was referring a case involving 17 banks to the Competition Tribunal.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Standard Bank said on Thursday it was engaging with the Competition Commission about an investigation into alleged rigging of rand currency trading and had not suspended any employees to date.

"Pending the outcome of these engagements and in the light of these historic allegations only having been brought to Standard Bank's attention on 15 February, no suspension of current employees of Standard Bank has taken place," the firm said in a statement.

Barclays Africa CEO Maria Ramos has apologised for its role in the rand-fixing.

Fin24 is reporting that Ramos says Barclays tipped off regulators about the practice after suspending two of its own traders.

Last week, the Competition Commission announced that it was referring a case involving 17 banks to the Competition Tribunal after they were accused of price fixing in international markets involving the value of the rand to the dollar.

The banks involved include Absa, Standard Bank, Investec, HSBC and Nomura International plc.

The commission has found that from at least 2007, these banks had a general agreement to collude on prices for bids, offers and bid-offer spreads for spot trades in relation to currency trading involving the rand and the dollar.

It also says that these banks helped each other to reach the desired prices by coordinating their trading times - and created fake bids and offers - to distort demand and supply.

The commission adds they took turns in transacting by either pulling or holding trades.

On Monday, Citibank announced it would pay a fine of almost R70 million after agreeing to settle the case against it.