By Dinilohlanga Mekuto
JOHANNESBURG, June 4 — A total of 11 banks in South Africa are under investigation for allegedly fixing the price of the Rand currency in their trading, says the Competition Commission, which has described the collusion as widespread.
Competition Commission Spokesman Mava Scott said here Wednesday that the investigation was prompted by probes conducted in the United States and Britain.
“Similar probes have been happening in the UK and the United States and these have resulted in some huge fines and banks paying billions of rand as a result. We have been watching those probes and in part ours was triggered by those probes and many other things.”
The probe is currently looking at 11 banks in total, said Scott, who added that the investigation was on-going and that there could be more banks implicated.
Investec, JP Morgan, Standard Bank, Barclays are among those being investigated and the list includes both local and international banks, said Scott.
He added that implications for the rand from such collusion were not yet clear as the probe itself so far focused on price fixing.
“What we want to look at is whether there was collusion. And if we can prove collusion, our investigation will end there, then other things may come as secondary issues.”
He said incentives and negotiated settlements would be granted to those banks which come forward and co-operate with the investigation.