Head traders and directors named in SA banking collusion scandal

Big-name traders and directors at South African banks have been named by the Competition Commission’s full case submission in the currency trading collusion scandal.

Three South African banks were named in an investigation by the Competition Commission which revealed that global banks colluded to fix the price of the South African rand for their own benefit.

The banks – Absa, Investec and Standard Bank – communicated with other global players using Bloomberg’s chat platform to lay out the strategy.

The case has now been handed to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution, with the Competition Commission seeking an order that those involved be docked for 10% of their annual turnover.

In its submission document, the Competition Commission has named the individuals who represented the banks in the alleged collusion, revealing that it was not a simple case of ‘rogue trading’, with the collusive behaviour being carried out by heads of trading at the banks.

The trades were conducted by traders operating predominantly in the US and South Africa, according to the affidavit, which also revealed that the ‘currency colluders’ included a head trader at Investec, and a director at Absa Capital.

You can read the full submission, courtesy of Times Media.

For a detailed break-down of how traders can collude through currency trading, you can read the primer here.

The full list of banks fingered in the Competition Commission investigation includes ank of America Merrill Lynch International; BNP Paribas; JP Morgan Chase & Co; JP Morgan; Chase Bank; Investec; Standard New York Securities; HSBC Bank; Standard Chartered Bank; Credit Suisse Group; Standard Bank of South Africa; Commerzbank AG; Australia and New Zealand Banking Group; Nomura International; Macquarie Bank; ABSA Bank Limited (ABSA); Barclays Capital; and Barclays Bank.

According to the Competition Commission, Absa joined the investigation early on, and assisted in bringing the extent of the collusion to light, as such it will not face full penalties for its role in the matter.

Read: 3 South African banks face massive fines for price-fixing and collusion

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