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South Africa central bank wants accountability in FX rigging scandal

Feb 27, 2017

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.

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 using an instant chat room called "ZAR Domination". [nL8N1G058W]

The central bank saw the allegations in a serious light, Mminele said in a speech posted on the bank's website.

"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.

He 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 has led to big banks paying more that $10 billion in settlements.

Barclays Africa, a regional unit of Britain's Barclays Plc, has 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, which is also among the banks named in the investigation, said on Thursday it is in talks with the watchdog.

Source: Reuters

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