The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) on Tuesday demanded the cancellation of the Competition Commission’s R69.5 million settlement with Citibank, which the bank will pay for its role in the unfolding collusion in foreign currency deals.
On Monday, the Competition Commission announced the settlement of R69 500 860 – filed with the Competition Tribunal – to be paid by Citibank.
The commission said: “This figure does not exceed 10% of Citibank NA’s annual turnover in the Republic of South Africa. Citibank NA undertook to cooperate with the Commission and avail witnesses to assist the prosecution of the other banks that colluded in this matter.”
However, the ANCWL said in a statement on Tuesday that it called “for the Commission to cancel the settlement with Citibank until thorough investigations through a Commission of Inquiry are instituted to reveal all the criminal activities that the banks have been involved in, which have compromised the economy of South Africa”.
Last week the commission referred 17 banks to its tribunal for prosecution for manipulating the foreign currency exchange markets as far back as 2007.
Absa, Investec and Standard Bank are among the implicated financial institutions.
The ANCWL said it “received with disappointment” the reports that the commission has penalised Citibank for its participation in colluding on prices for bids, offers and bid-offers.
“The ANCWL rejects this slap on the wrist to banks that are not having the interest of South Africa and its citizens at heart.”
The women’s league said banks are motivated by “greed, bloodsucking and parasitic attitude to maximise wealth at all costs for its shareholders”.
The ANCWL said it would not accept any penalty that did not include 100% penalty of commission earned by the banks through this collusion since 2007, revoking of the banking licences of all banks implicated and criminal charges instituted against the board and executive of the banks implicated.