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No proof of manipulation – Investec, Standard Bank

Publish date: 15 May 2017
Issue Number: 725
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Competition

Investec and Standard Bank have shot holes in the Competition Commission’s collusion case implicating the banks’ currency traders, saying in court filings that the commission had provided no factual evidence to support its allegations, says a Business Day report. Group legal adviser Avrom Krengel said in papers that Investec did not even know how to plead since it could not tell – from the commission’s ‘vague and embarrassing’ referral affidavit – what case it was being called upon to meet. ‘The (commission’s) affidavit makes sweeping statements, covering many years, with only vague allegations of misconduct on the part of the respondents. Investec is accordingly unable to discern in respect of what particular conduct it is alleged to have violated sections … of the Competition Act,’ Krengel said. In his affidavit, Krengel explained that the commission had provided no specifics on when, how or with whom collusion took place. ‘(The commission) does not give the dates on which, or places at which, the agreements were entered into, with which of the respondents or by whom on behalf of the parties they were concluded, or what their terms were.’ Meanwhile, Standard Bank’s group counsel, Ian Sinton, said in papers that the commission did not advance evidence to support allegations that traders used chatrooms and telephones to collude. ‘How and when these chats and … conversations are said to have been conducted and between whom, is not explained, and nor are the parties to each of these identified.’

Full Business Day report