Economist Roodt details Standard Chartered's currency manipulation settlement

The UK-based bank reached a settlement with the competition watchdog for its role in fixing and creating fictitious bids, as well as other activities aimed at manipulating the dollar-rand exchange rate between 2007 and 2013.

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JOHANNESBURG - British multi-national bank, Standard Chartered, has agreed to pay a hefty settlement of R42.7 million to the Competition Commission after it was found to have manipulated the exchange rate in South Africa.

In 2015, the Competition Commission launched a complaint against 28 financial institutions that stand accused of being part of an overarching foreign exchange rigging conspiracy.

The UK-based bank reached a settlement with the competition watchdog for its role in fixing and creating fictitious bids, as well as other activities aimed at manipulating the dollar-rand exchange rate between 2007 and 2013.

Efficient Group's chief economist, Dawie Roodt, explains: "They manipulated the price of rands and dollars. Remember, most of the dealer banks have a special licence which allows them to buy and sell currency. We're not allowed to do that but banks are allowed to do that and it is alleged that they manipulated the price of rands and dollars by witholding certain information or by giving some customers the preference in this and in the process, some people got benefits because they got dollars or rands at a better price."

Standard Chartered's decision to settle with competition authorities comes amid hearings into allegations of forex rigging by dozens of local and international banks, which is currently being heard in the Competition Appeal Court.