A South African antitrust regulator said it found that more than a dozen international and local banks colluded to manipulate foreign currency trades and recommended they be fined 10% of their annual turnover.
Bloomberg News reports that The Competition Commission identified banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, HSBC and Nomura as having participated in price fixing and market allocation in the trading of foreign currency pairs involving the rand since at least 2007. It referred the case to an antitrust tribunal, concluding an investigation that began almost two years ago.
''The respondents manipulated the price of bids and offers through agreements to refrain from trading and creating fictitious bids and offers at particular times,” the commission said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. “They assisted each other to reach the desired prices by coordinating trading times. They also created fictitious bids and offers, distorting demand and supply in order to achieve their profit motives.”
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