South Africa's rand currency 'rigged by banks'

Thor

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And what about ABSA who got given immunity. That Ramos lady is a top class crook in my book. Not one for ethics.
 
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Sneeky

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The way the CC works with 'cartel' type behavior is everyone is taken to task at the same time pretty much.
Then if one or more parties wants to negotiate or plead out they are offered a significantly lower penalty, if the evidence they provide bolsters the case of the CC against the rest.

It seems the other 'majors' are not to interested in this 'sideshow' just yet.
 

schumi

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Standard Bank: We are innocent

ohannesburg - Internal “inquiries” found no evidence that a currency trader employed by Standard Bank did, in fact, participate in the alleged foreign exchange price-fixing cartel comprising 18 banks, the bank said this week.

The bank has made an urgent application to the Competition Tribunal to compel the Competition Commission to produce its record of evidence against the banks, or at least against Standard Bank.

This follows an initial request for details of the evidence against it. The request was sent on February 22 – a week after it was announced that this case was being referred to the tribunal.

Without this information, Standard Bank claims it cannot engage or cooperate with investigators, with the intention of securing leniency when fines get handed out.

Another accused bank, London-based HSBC, has also filed its responding papers at the tribunal.

These are not yet publicly available, but in a media statement issued this week, the commission said the bank claimed that it had been falsely accused.

The banks and the commission have already agreed to a two-day hearing in July, where the foreign banks in particular will argue that the tribunal has no jurisdiction over their currency traders, who are not based in South Africa.

The banks also have until Wednesday to file further exemptions they may have.

“The commission believes that the case against the banks is very clear from its papers, and we will be resisting any attempts to delay proceedings at the tribunal on the basis of technicalities,” said Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.

According to Standard Bank, however, it is the commission that is delaying things by failing to produce the record of evidence from the start of its investigation, in April 2015.

The probe covers alleged collusion from as far back as 2007.

In an affidavit submitted this week, Jean Meijer, Standard Bank’s attorney in the forex case, said the commission “cannot reasonably contend that the production of the record in this matter is not a task that ought to receive its urgent attention”.

This week’s application contains letters exchanged between the bank and the commission, in which Standard Bank becomes more and more insistent about obtaining the evidence against it.

Meijer also claims that the commission blind sided Standard Bank by including it among the 18 banks being charged in the first place.

“Extraordinarily, Standard Bank became aware of the fact that it was alleged to be involved ... through the commission’s press release on February 15 2017.”

Meijer complains that the bank “was not provided the courtesy even of access to the referral affidavit before a media release containing damaging allegations was sent out”.

Standard Bank lawyers wrote to the commission the next week, saying it would prefer “to engage constructively ... but was in no position to meaningfully engage with the commission, since it had not been provided with any evidence of the conduct in which it was alleged to have engaged”.
More at: http://www.fin24.com/Companies/Financial-Services/standard-bank-we-are-innocent-20170430-2
 

schumi

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Investec and Standard shoot holes in forex manipulation case

Investec and Standard Bank have shot holes in the Competition Commission’s collusion case implicating the banks’ currency traders, saying in court filings that the commission had provided no factual evidence to support its allegations.

Investec did not even know how to plead since it could not tell, from the commission’s "vague and embarrassing" referral affidavit, what case it was being called upon to meet, group legal adviser Avrom Krengel said in papers.

A total of 14 banks referred to the Competition Tribunal for alleged price fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency pairs involving the rand have filed exception applications, published on the commission’s website this week, disputing the referral.

The case was referred to the tribunal in February.

Citibank paid the commission a R70m settlement, while Barclays plc, Barclays Capital and Absa are co-operating to be granted leniency.

"The [commission’s] affidavit makes sweeping statements, covering many years, with only vague allegations of misconduct on the part of the respondents. Investec is accordingly unable to discern in respect of what particular conduct it is alleged to have violated sections … of the Competition Act," Krengel said.
More at: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/companies/financial-services/2017-05-11-investec-and-standard-shoot-holes-in-forex-manipulation-case/
 

schumi

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Competition Commission won’t take it easy on banks hoping to settle on forex cartel matter


Johannesburg – Banks implicated in the forex cartel matter, should not expect the same kind of settlements the Competition Commission reached with other banks.

Spokesperson Sipho Ngema confirmed to Fin24 on Wednesday that the Commission is still open to discussing settlements with banks.

Reuters reported earlier that Commissioner Tembikinkosi Bonakele said that the watchdog would not be engaging with banks approaching it discreetly to reach settlements by offering their cooperation. Bonakele was speaking at a media breakfast part of the 11th Annual Competition Law, Economics and Policy Conference hosted by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

“The Commission doesn’t rule out any possible settlement discussion with any bank in this litigation – what we are saying is that those who have wasted time and have sort to abuse the process must not expect the same as those who settled earlier,” Ngema said in an email.
More at : http://www.fin24.com/fin24/Companies/Financial-Services/competition-commission-wont-take-it-easy-on-banks-hoping-to-settle-on-forex-cartel-matter-20170831-2
 

schumi

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.Banks tear into Competition Commission’s currency-rigging case

They allege that the competition watchdog has not complied with the principles of fairness.

Commercial banks accused of rigging currency trades have poked holes in the Competition Commission’s case against them, saying the competition watchdog is relying on broad accusations that lack hard evidence.

The commission’s case against bank traders kicked off on Monday, with the Competition Tribunal hearing various objections from banks mainly on the clarity of evidence, the jurisdiction of the commission over foreign entities, and the lapse in the period of bringing charges. The censure of the commission’s conduct through a declaratory order was also heard.
More at : https://citizen.co.za/business/1988830/banks-tear-into-competition-commissions-currency-rigging-case
 

schumi

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The dark and ‘smoke-filled’ chatroom that could sink rogue forex traders

Joining covert instant messaging platforms indicates the willingness to participate in currency conspiracy, apparently.

The mere fact that bank traders accepted invitations to join covert instant messaging platforms is a strong indication of their involvement in a rogue conspiracy to manipulate the rand/US dollar currency pair, the Competition Commission has argued.

The commission’s serially delayed case against bank currency traders is heating up, with the watchdog saying there was a clear intention by traders to rig currency trades to boost profits.

Acting for the commission, advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi said the acceptance by bank traders to join instant messaging platforms, which he described as “smoke-filled darkrooms” was “an acceptance to a conspiracy”.

Ngcukaitobi was arguing before the Competition Tribunal on Wednesday. Hearings into the commission’s case of currency rigging, which was referred to the tribunal in February 2017, began on Monday.

The case implicates more than 30 individuals linked to 23 banks, among them Standard Bank of SA, Investec Bank, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch International, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC Bank, Macquarie Bank, Barclays Capital, Standard New York Securities, Nomura International and Credit Suisse Group.
More at : https://citizen.co.za/business/1990345/the-dark-and-smoke-filled-chatroom-that-could-sink-rogue-forex-traders/
 

schumi

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Standard Chartered pleads guilty to manipulating the rand

JOHANNESBURG – The Competition Commission in South Africa said it has noted an agreement between Standard Chartered Bank and the New York State Department of Financial Services where Standard Chartered pleaded guilty to currency manipulation.
The Competition Commission said in a statement: "The Competition Commission has noted a consent agreement, which subsequently became a court order, between Standard Chartered Bank and New York State Department of Financial Services. In the consent order, Standard Chartered pleaded guilty to currency manipulation which included the South Africa Rand (ZAR) between 2007 and 2013. This is captured on pages 9 and 10 of the court order."
The Commission said it would consider the impact of the order on the ongoing forex litigation with the banks in South Africa.
More at: https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/companies/standard-chartered-pleads-guilty-to-manipulating-the-rand-19142556
 

Milano

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Is there any comparison between this investigation and that under Mbeki back in 2002?

Twelve months after the start of that 2002 commission was announced the rand had already strengthened by more than 40%.

By 2005 the cost of a dollar had more then halved compared to 2002.

Sure, the economic fundamentals are very different now but surely with banks admitting guilt there should have been greater rand movement 4 years into this current commission?
 

schumi

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Competition Commission says it can't charge foreign banks in rand-rigging case

The Competition Commission concluded on Wednesday that it has no powers to charge foreign banks being investigated in an exchange-rate rigging case unless they have a presence in the country.
Partly on that basis, the tribunal sent the case back to the country's competition watchdog, giving it 40 days to clarify the charges it plans to bring. It also dismissed a request from the banks involved to have the case dropped altogether.
In a probe that has rumbled on since 2015, the Competition Commission has been seeking fines against 23 local and foreign banks that it alleges colluded to coordinate activities when giving quotes to customers buying or selling the rand and the dollar.
It joined a global clampdown that has led to dozens of traders being fired and several big banks fined around $10 billion in total for rigging the level of Libor and other forex benchmarks.
More at: https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/business/2019-06-12-competition-commission-says-it-cant-charge-foreign-banks-in-rand-rigging-case/
 

Gnome

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Serious question, would things like this happen if the country didn't have currency exchange controls.
 

John Tempus

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Saving face. Of course local powerless competition commission cant do jacksht against international banks.

I still don't buy this entire rand-rigging case. The rand have been knocking on the devils door for over 25 years now, always more north than south on the long term scale.

I guess they now want to claim that Zimbabwe currency also got rigged by international bankers.
 

ForceFate

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ɹǝuuᴉM

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The laws of the jungle are brutal! A lion will take advantage of a "stupid" zebra. The international community, does not give a damn about any country ruled by idiots! #LiveWithIt
 
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