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South Africa: Barclays Africa granted immunity in FX rigging probe

 |  February 21, 2017

South Africa’s Competition Commission has granted Barclays Africa conditional immunity from prosecution in return for its continuing cooperation in the rand currency trading probe, the head of the Commission said on Tuesday.

The Commission said last week it had found more than a dozen local and foreign banks colluded to coordinate trading in the rand and the U.S dollar using an instant chat room called “ZAR Domination”.

It recommended fines amounting to 10 percent of the banks’ South African revenues in a scandal that has piled political pressure on the country’s big four banks and raised questions about their dominance in Africa’s most industrialised economy.

The local lenders have around a 90 percent market share of the South African banking market.

“We did, through the investigation, receive a leniency application from Barclays/ABSA which cooperated and gave us more information,” The head of the Commission Tembinkosi Bonakele told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

“We have a conditional agreement with them on immunity but this is subject to confirmation depending on the extent of their cooperation.”

Barclays Africa, whose branches a branded ABSA ans is a regional subsidiary of Barclays , did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Full Content: Daily Mail

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