Forex cartel case: Standard Chartered pleads guilty to manipulating rand, other currencies



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British multinational banking and financial services firm Standard Chartered has pleaded guilty to manipulating currencies, including the rand, between 2007 and 2013.

According to a statement released by the Competition Commission on Tuesday, the bank entered into a consent agreement with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). You will have to pay $ 40 million (about R $ 530 million) for the DFS.

The commission – which conducted its own investigation into the banks that allegedly conspired in foreign exchange operations – said it would consider the impact of the consent order on its litigation against banks.

The case of the local forex cartel dates back to February 2017, when the commission referred to the Competition Court a case of collusion for the suit against 17 banks. They included three of the major banks in South Africa, namely Investec, Absa and Standard Bank, Fin24 reported previously.

Collusion since 2007

Among the other banks cited are Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Chase & Co., JP Morgan Chase Bank, Standard New York Securities, HSBC Bank, Credit Suisse Group , Commerzbank AG and New Zealand Banking Group Limited. , Nomura International, Macquarie Bank, Barclays Capital and Barclays Bank.

The commission started its investigation in April 2015 and found that there were general agreements to conspire on price fixing and market allocation as of 2007.

Citibank was the first of the respondents to plead guilty and reached an agreement with the commission to pay a fine of R69.5m, Fin24 reported earlier.

"Citibank has pledged to cooperate with the commission and call on witnesses to assist the judgment of the other banks," the commission said.

Absa has apologized for its involvement and the commission has not issued a fine against the bank, Bloomberg said.

& # 39; Range of Tactics & # 39;

Since February 2017, the commission has been involved in litigation with the rest of the banks – Standard Chartered is one of them.

According to a DFS statement, its investigation, as well as an internal review by the bank, found that banking operators "have used a series of illegal tactics to maximize profits or minimize losses at the expense of customers or customers of the bank in other banks." .

"Under the consent order with DFS, Standard Chartered has admitted that it has failed to implement effective controls over its foreign exchange business, which is conducted at its headquarters in London and other global financial centers, including its branch in New York." the statement said.

Under the consent request, Standard Chartered must make submissions to DFS on improved written internal controls and compliance programs. It should also improve its risk management program and establish an improved internal audit program.

The bank will also provide ongoing progress reports to DFS.

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