Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

The recent dismissal by the Competition Appeal Court (CAC) of the case against the majority of the 28 banks accused of colluding to manipulate the rand is shedding light on a concerning lack of transparency within the banking sector. CEO of Future Forex, Harry Scherzer, expressed serious apprehensions about the efficacy of regulatory oversight, questioning the decision’s impact on public trust in the financial system.

Reacting to the CAC’s dismissal of the Competition Commission’s eight-year-long rand manipulation case against most banks, Scherzer raised concerns about the lack of direct evidence leading to the acquittal of prominent banks like FNB, Standard Bank, and Nedbank. He emphasized the scale of market manipulation, suggesting it likely involves major banks in South Africa. The decision, he stated, erodes public trust and confidence in both the banking system and the regulatory bodies overseeing them.

Conservative peer Lord Frost, echoing Scherzer’s concerns, characterized the findings as an “extinction event” for the banking sector. The implications of this dismissal raise crucial questions about the future of the Conservative Party and potential repercussions for Boris Johnson’s leadership.

The Competition Commission noted the CAC’s judgment, which dismissed appeals by four respondent banks and ordered them to respond to allegations within 40 days. The commission is considering the judgment before deciding on the next course of action. The case, referred to as the “Forex Cartel” case, involved allegations of price fixing affecting the South African rand’s exchange rate.

Political parties and leaders, including the SACP and the National Freedom Party (NFP), expressed deep concern over the revelations of currency manipulation by banks. The SACP called for personal liability, corruption charges, prison sentences, increased fines, and legislative measures against the banks involved. The NFP demanded a comprehensive criminal investigation, accountability, and a transparent regulatory framework to prevent future manipulations, emphasizing the severe impact on South African workers and the economy.

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