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Tribunal bars bank access to forex case records

Publish date: 13 November 2017
Issue Number: 751
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa

Standard Bank’s efforts to obtain records of the Competition Commission’s probe into collusion among currency traders at 18 banks were thwarted last week after the Competition Tribunal ruled it was not entitled to such records, notes a Business Day report. Given ‘the length of the record, the extent of the confidential information in it and the burden it would place on the commission in preparing it, a reasonable time for production would be at the same time as discovery is made in the (foreign exchange) case’, the tribunal said. It added that Standard Bank had provided no reasons why it should receive a copy of the commission’s record of investigation before pleadings in the case had closed on 18 September. The tribunal’s ruling means the bank will have to plead its case without sight of the record. The commission initially referred the collusion case to the tribunal in February. Citibank settled via a R70m fine, while Barclays plc, Barclays Capital and Absa applied for leniency. None of the 14 remaining respondent banks that are contesting the case has yet filed answering affidavits. Instead, they have filed ‘exception applications’ that centre on technical disputes relating to, among others, jurisdiction and insufficient information. The report adds the remaining exception applications will be heard in January 2018.

Full Business Day report