The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced that it will not interfere in the Competition Commission’s investigation into allegations of rand manipulation.
Nearly 30 commercial banks are currently facing scrutiny for their involvement in alleged price fixing related to the South African local currency.
Last week, the Competition Commission fined British multinational bank Standard Chartered R42 million after the bank admitted to engaging in currency manipulation. This settlement marked the second agreement reached by a banking firm since the scandal first emerged.
As the institution responsible for safeguarding the value of the rand, the SARB has also come under scrutiny in relation to the scandal. Political parties and other stakeholders are now calling for the central bank to provide explanations and take action against banks found to be involved in misconduct.
Speaking at the policy rates announcement on Thursday, SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago emphasized that the Competition Commission has the authority to investigate allegations of market abuse or manipulation.
He stated, “Should they require any further assistance from us, they will get it. But they are the competent authority to investigate any allegations of market abuse or market manipulation.”
Kganyago further emphasized the importance of allowing the Competition Commission to carry out its work without unnecessary interference. He stated, “They must be given the space to do their work and follow their processes, and we should not burden them with asking for running commentary.”
The South African Reserve Bank governor concluded by stating that no further comments would be provided by the reserve bank on the matter.
With the ongoing probe into rand manipulation, the Competition Commission will continue to investigate the allegations against the commercial banks involved. The commission’s findings will determine the appropriate actions that need to be taken to address any misconduct or market abuse.
While the SARB has made it clear that it will not meddle in the investigation, it has expressed its willingness to assist the Competition Commission if needed.
This collaborative approach ensures that the investigation is conducted thoroughly and impartially, allowing for the appropriate measures to be taken to maintain the integrity of the financial system.
As the investigation unfolds, it is essential for all parties involved to respect the authority and independence of the Competition Commission. This will help to ensure a fair and transparent process, leading to the appropriate outcomes and consequences for any wrongdoing.