Cape Town – Non-profit organisation Public Interest SA is reportedly “underwhelmed” by the settlement agreement between the Competition Commission and UK bank Standard Chartered.
The bank admitted to manipulating the Rand-US dollar exchange rate between 2007 and 2013 and agreed to pay a R42.7 million administrative penalty.
“The Commission welcomes SCB’s decision to reach a settlement on this matter and encourages other respondent banks to consider settling the complaint against them,” said Commissioner Doris Tshepe.
SCB is one of 28 banks that the watchdog has accused of involvement in a scheme to manipulate the rand-US dollar exchange rate between 2007 and 2013.
According to EWN, Public Interest SA expressed concerns about the inadequacy of the fine, emphasising the severity of Standard Chartered’s conduct and its potential impact on the economy.
The organisation advocates for punitive damages and calls for more robust consequences, including the possibility of fining executives personally, to address manipulation of currencies, which it describes as an “insidious practice” against emerging markets like South Africa, the report said.
Public Interest SA likens these actions to those of “economic hitmen” operating under the guise of corporate entities.
Compiled by Betha Madhomu