The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) has called on the government to stop doing business with banks named by the Competition Commission and referred to the Tribunal for prosecution over allegations that they colluded in foreign currency deals.
The Commission on Wednesday said it had referred the collusion case to the Tribunal for prosecution against 17 major banks, including South Africa’s Absa, Investec and Standard Bank.
Reacting to the announcement the ANCWL said: “The ANC-led government must stop doing business with banks implicated in this orchestrated corrupt practice.”
The Commission said it had been investigating a case of price fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency pairs involving the rand since April 2015.
In a statement, the Commission said it had found that from at least 2007, the banks 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 said these banks manipulated the price of bids and offers through agreements to refrain from trading and creating fictitious bids and offers at particular times.
The ANCWL said it “welcomes the decision” taken by the Commission to prosecute banks for corruption cases, which it said had been given a glorified name of “collusion”.
“For over 10 years these un-transformed banks which at the most are headquartered in the land of the imperialists have been manipulating the price for bids,” the ANCWL said.
“In their typical capitalist bloodsucking character, the banks created fictitious bids and offers, distorting demand and supply in order to achieve their profit motives and maximum wealth for their shareholders by hook or crook.”
The ANCWL said it will monitor any developments.
“Whatever the outcome will be on the case, the ANCWL will continue calling the ANC-led government to establish a state owned bank to serve the people of South Africa with pride and dignity.” .