Citi fined by South African regulator over currency collusion allegations

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Citibank will pay a fine of 69.5m rand (£4.2m) to settle a case brought by South Africa’s competition commission alleging banks colluded in trading of the country’s currency.

The commission referred 17 banks, including the country’s own Standard Bank and Absa, to a tribunal for prosecution last week, after finding that they had colluded on prices, bids and offers in US dollar-rand trading since at least 2007.

The case has provoked widespread anger in South Africa, including the country’s Treasury accusing banks of “unbridled greed”.

Citibank “undertook to cooperate… and avail witnesses to assist the prosecution of the other banks that colluded in this matter,” the commission said.

Barclays and Absa, which the UK bank owns via Barclays Africa, are also said to have cooperated with the commission in the investigation.

“This settlement was done to encourage speedy settlement and full disclosure to strengthen the evidence for prosecution of the other banks,” said Tembinkosi Bonakele, the competition commissioner.

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