Competition Tribunal agrees to Citibank R70m settlement for its role in forex cartel

The Competition Tribunal has approved Citibank’s R69.5-million settlement proposed by the Competition Commission for the bank’s role in the manipulation of foreign exchange trades.

Citibank is the first of 18 banks accused of involvement in a foreign exchange cartel to reach an agreement with the tribunal, and the payment of the fine comes after a five-week delay, the Business Day reported on Wednesday. The fine was less than 10% of Citibank’s annual turnover in South Africa, the report said.

The bank admitted that it had manipulated foreign exchange trades between September 2007 and October 2013 and said it would co-operate in helping competition authorities convict 17 other banks that are allegedly part of the cartel. 

The commission welcomed Citibank’s settlement with the tribunal.

The commission said that, from at least 2007, banks had an agreement to collude on prices for bids, offers and bid-offer spreads for spot trades in relation to currency trading involving the dollar and rand currency pairing.

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