Johannesburg – South Africa’s Central Bank wants commercial lenders involved in the rand currency rigging scandal to be held accountable, Deputy Governor Daniel Mminele said on Friday.
Mminele said in a speech posted on the bank’s website in Johannesburg that the central bank saw the allegations in a serious light.
“The South African Reserve Bank is of the view that those found to have violated the law should accept full responsibility for their actions and be held accountable and corrective measures should be implemented,’’ Mminele said.
South Africa’s Competition Commission said last week that it had found more than a dozen local and foreign banks had colluded to coordinate trading in the rand and the U.S dollar.
The commission said they used an instant chat room called “ZAR Domination’’ to rig the currency when trading.
Mminele said a resolution of the matter, without undue delay or prolonged uncertainty was in the interests of South Africa’s financial markets and the banking system.
“It is also important, however, that we do not jump to conclusions and allow the steps now initiated to be completed following due process,’’ Mminele said.
The Commission began its investigation in April 2015, joining an international probe into the manipulation of foreign exchange rates that had led to big banks paying more than 10 billion dollars in settlements.
Barclays Africa, a regional unit of Britain’s Barclays Plc, had already been granted conditional immunity from prosecution in return for supplying information that would lead to the successful prosecution of the other cartel members.
Local lender Standard Bank, one of the banks named in the investigation said on Thursday it was in talks with the watchdog.
The local arm of Citigroup agreed to pay a reduced 5 million dollars penalty for cooperating in the investigation while Investec had said it would seek further information from the regulator to continue to co-operate.
The other banks and brokerages named in the case were Citigroup, Nomura, JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse Group, and Commerzbank AG.
Others are; Standard New York Securities Inc, Macquarie Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), ANZ Banking Group Ltd and Standard Chartered Plc.