MKMVA demands harsher punishment for banks over collusion
Johannesburg - The ANC’s Umkhonto we Sizwe military veterans association has called for a Judicial commission of Inquiry into the banks after the Competition Commission found that 17 international and local banks colluded to manipulate foreign-currency trades and recommended some of them be fined 10% of their final turnover.
Chairperson Kebby Maphatsoe said there has to be "harsher punishment" for corruption by the private sector.
"The government must act decisively, we have been very polite when it comes to corruption by the private sector but when its corruption by government and ANC members everyone stands up as if a bomb has exploded somewhere," Maphatsoe said.
The Competition Commission found that implicated banks including Absa, Standard Bank and Investec used Bloomberg chatrooms to enter into arrangements to fix prices of the dollar/rand exchange and divide the market by allocating customers since at least 2007.
Maphatsoe said it indicated a pattern of high scale corruption in the private sector, following the finding that there was collusion in the building of stadiums ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup by the construction industry. All of South Africa’s largest construction firms were implicated.
"It must be exposed and let it be hard and decisive so that there is space for other banks," Maphatsoe told News 24.
He said the ANC has been speaking repeatedly about transformation of the financial sector including the creation of a state bank with no action taken.
It has also slammed the Reserve bank for not opening up the financial sector to allow for black owned banks to come into the sector.
"We have been waiting for a state bank for a long time. There is no way we can speak about radical economic transformation without dealing with them [banks]. We need to do away with the dominance of white monopoly capital. There is no way we can speak about radical economic transition without dealing with them," Maphatsoe said.
The association is also backing calls for President Jacob Zuma not to sign into law the FICA bill. President Jacob Zuma returned the bill to the National Assembly citing concerns over the legality of "warrantless search clause" allowing for the financial auditing of high-profile individuals without a warrant.
"If you allow the FICA bill – it tells you how powerful are the banks. If the FICA bill comes in, the banks will do as they wish with so-called politically exposed people," Maphatsoe said.