South Africa: Banks object to forex complaints

Some of the banks accused of manipulating trades in the rand are objecting to the complaint by South Africa’s Competition Commission, calling it vague and embarrassing, and demanding it be amended or dropped

“The commission has failed to plead the material facts necessary to sustain the allegation that there was an agreement, or agreements,” between the lenders of colluding to fix the value of the currency, lawyers for Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a documents published on the Pretoria-based Competition Tribunal’s website on Wednesday. “The necessary details of any such agreement(s) — i.e., when, where, how and by whom they were concluded — are also lacking.”

In separate papers filed with the Competition Tribunal, which adjudicates cases brought by the commission, BNP Paribas also called the complaint against it “vague and embarrassing” for saying that a defendant represented Standard Bank’s New York unit and Barclays Plc at the same time. It said there were no allegations that the banks carried out prohibited practices within South Africa or if they had any effect in the country.

In its response, JPMorgan argued that the commission has no jurisdiction over the bank, which is registered in the US, while Credit Suisse termed an allegation that traders for the group of banks “operated predominantly in the United States of America and in South Africa” as “so vague as to be meaningless.” It called another allegation “incomprehensible.”

Full Content: Money Web

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