Standard Chartered admits to rand manipulation

Standard Chartered Bank and the New York State Department of Financial Services have reached an agreement after the bank pleaded guilty to currency manipulation.

In addition to other currencies, Standard Chartered pleaded guilty to currency manipulation of the South African rand between 2007 and 2013.

South Africa’s Competition Commission acknowledged the agreement and said it would consider the impact of the order as it relates to the ongoing forex litigation with the banks in South Africa.

In February 2017, the Competition Commission referred a number of banks – including  JP Morgan Chase, Investec, Standard Bank and Absa – to the Competition Tribunal for price fixing involving the rand.

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

Citibank has since pleaded guilty and reached a settlement agreement with the Commission to pay an administrative penalty of R69,500,860.

Since February 2017, the Commission has been engaged in protracted litigation with the rest of the banks, including Standard Chartered Bank, on pre-trial issues such as jurisdiction of the South African authorities and disclosure of the Commission’s evidence.


Read: How important is the rand in a global context?

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Standard Chartered admits to rand manipulation