Tribunal to hear first proposed settlement in forex matter


The first corporate leniency case relating to alleged collusion in the banking sector will be heard by the Competition Tribunal on Wednesday.

This comes after the Competition Commission and Citibank reached a settlement agreement on February 19 on the bank’s role in the forex trading cartel.

CitiBank has agreed to pay an administrative penalty amounting to R69‚500‚860 and will most likely be off the hook in relation to the charges.

The commission discovered that from 2007‚ 18 banks including Citibank‚ Standard Bank‚ Absa‚ Standard Chartered and Barclays Capital “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 US Dollar/Rand currency pair“.

The commission also found that the banks had manipulated the price of bids and offers through agreements to refrain from trading and creating fictitious bids and offers at particular times.

CitiBank has admitted that between “September 2007 and October 2013 it engaged in the prohibited practices in respect of spot trading of ZAR currency pairs…” read the commission’s document filed with the Competition Tribunal.

CitiBank has also agreed to cooperate with the commission in relation to the prosecution of other banks found guilty of collusion.

The bank will pay the fine into the commission’s bank account within 30 days of confirmation of the settlement agreement by the tribunal.

The tribunal spokeswoman Chantelle Benjamin told Sowetan on Tuesday that the commission will have to outline reasons to award corporate leniency to CitiBank.

In pre-hearings already held Absa and CitiBank agreed to cooperate with investigators.

She said Wednesday’s hearing will be a private matter between CitiBank‚ the commission and tribunal.

She said CitiBank was likely to obtain the leniency because it was the first bank to cooperate fully with the commission.

Other banks will not be expected to be at the hearings.


- TMG Digital/SowetanLIVE