The Economic Freedom Fighters have surprisingly spoken with one voice with the incumbent government to penalize the 17 banks that defaulted and breached professional ethics.
The party said: “The EFF will write to the South African Reserve Bank to demand that the banking and operating licences of these banks must be discontinued immediately because we believe collusion around South Africa’s currency is treacherous and should be treated as such.”
Earlier on, Competition Commission said the 17 banks had been involved in the manipulation of the price of the rand since 2007. They had chosen when to sell or buy the currency or had created fictitious trades to change supply and affect prices. Three South African banks accused of collusion are Absa‚ Standard Bank and Investec.
The commission referred the banks to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on Wednesday.
It has also recommended to the tribunal that 15 of the banks be fined 10% of their annual turnover‚ the maximum penalty in the Competition Act.
The EFF demands that the affected banks be shown the way out of the country. It said government and state bodies had to refrain from using these banks. They used the competition commission’s announcement to call for the creation of a state-run bank.
To strengthen it’s position, the party said: “The cowardice government must now illustrate to the banks that despite their systemically important financial position‚ they are not above the law and not beyond reproach [sic]. Most of these banks have been platforms for massive illicit financial flows‚ money laundering and corruption committed in South Africa and the entire developing world.”
The EFF is waiting to see the disciplinary actions that will befall the affected banks.