Absa won’t face punishment from the Competition Commission as one of the three banks helping manipulate the value of the rand because they co-operated with regulators, according to a report by Fin24.
The report notes that while Absa may not receive full indemnity, their disclosures to the Competition Commission could save them from being penalised if the information they provided is proven correct. The bank had reportedly been working with the commission from an early stage, which greatly helped the commission in its findings according to the insiders.
Standard Bank, Investec and Absa were among 17 international banking groups accused of ‘widespread’ collusion relating to the the price-fixing of the rand. Following an almost two-year investigation into the matter, the Competition Commission has now referred a collusion case to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution.
It has been alleged that currency traders have been buying and selling US dollars in exchange for the rand at fixed prices. This was accomplished by making false sales to drive up demand, or colluding to agree not to trade for specified periods of time.
In the case of the three South African banks, the Commission is seeking an order declaring payment of an administrative penalty equal to 10% of their annual turnover.