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Competition Commission explains Citibank ‘collusion’ settlement

The commission says it has agreed to Citibank paying a fine of R69.5m because it needs their testimony in the currency manipulation case.

FILE: Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Competition Commission says it's told the Competition Tribunal it has agreed to Citibank paying a fine of R69.5 million because it needs their testimony in the currency manipulation case against fourteen other banks.

The commission presented its settlement agreement to the tribunal on Wednesday.

Citibank has agreed to playing a role in a cartel that saw the value of the currency being manipulated through fake bids and price-rigging.

During Wednesday’s hearing the tribunal questioned the fine being paid by Citibank, but the commission says it needs to speak to people who were actually in the cartel.

It also says the relatively low value of the fine is the price they pay for people who will take the nation into their confidence, and explain what happened behind closed doors.

The commission says the group of people that manipulated the currency comprised a hard-core cartel that was involved in price-fixing and market division.

Once this process is completed, proceedings against the other banks could start, that could see bigger fines being imposed on institutions like Nomura, PNB Paribas and Credit Suisse.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)