ANC demands economic sabotage charges for rand manipulating banks

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress said commercial lenders found to have manipulated the nation’s currency should be charged with economic sabotage.

Standard Chartered admitted this week to manipulating currency trading in South Africa and agreed to pay a penalty of R42.7 million ($2.3 million).

The agreement settled an eight-year probe by the Competition Commission into the bank’s participation in an alleged cartel to manipulate the value of the rand.

“A mere settlement of R43 million is not sufficient for the harm our economy has experienced,” the ANC said in a statement on Friday.

“We commend the Competition Commission for their investigation but demand that all the banks involved in this illegal conduct face criminal charges.”

Standard Chartered didn’t respond to a request for comment sent by email.

The currency manipulation saga started in May 2015, when the commission alleged that banks colluded to rig the value of the rand against the dollar.

The inquiry followed a global probe into currency manipulation that was exposed two years earlier, triggering investigations in the US and the UK and resulting in billions of dollars in settlements.


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