Citibank Agrees $5.3m Fine for Rand Rigging Mess

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

One of the 17 banks implicated in the recent scandal surrounding the South African currency, the Rand; Citibank, has agreed to pay a penalty fee of R69.5 million (about $5.3m with Citibank).

On Monday, South Africa’s the Competition Commission reached a settlement agreement with Citibank, arm of US firm, Citigroup.

In 2016, the South African economy encountered uncertainties due to corruption scandals involving the President, Mr Jacob Zuma.

In a statement by the Competition Commission, it was revealed that Citibank agreed to pay an administrative fine of R69.5 million for its role in the manipulation of the rand.

However, the fine is expected to be ratified by the Competition Tribunal.

According to the agency, “Citibank undertook to co-operate with the commission and avail witnesses to assist the prosecution of the other banks that colluded in this matter.”

“This settlement was done to encourage speedy settlement and full disclosure to strengthen the evidence for prosecution of the other banks,” it said further.

Recall that last week, the agency referred a collusion case to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution against Bank of America Merrill Lynch International, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Chase & Company, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Investec, Standard New York Securities, HSBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Credit Suisse Group, Standard Bank of South Africa, Commerzbank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Nomura International, Macquarie Bank, Citibank, Absa Bank, Barclays Capital and Barclays Bank.

It said it had found that, for at least 10 years, the banks allegedly 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 the US dollar/rand currency pair.

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