Alleged bank collusion may have increased volatility of rand - economist

Seventeen banks have now been referred to the Competition Tribunal for manipulating the value of the rand.

The banks include foreign banks like JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse, and local institutions such as Absa Bank, Standard Bank and Investec.

Economist Professor Simon Roberts advises that the banks are alleged to be in collusion with each other - which is very different from corruption.

According to Roberts, the alleged bank collusion may have potentially increased the volatility of the rand.

There would be more volatility and they'd creating more economic uncertainty which is bad for the real economy.

Prof Simon Roberts, Executive Director of the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development at UJ

He explains that traders from across the world used many platforms to distort the market.

The traders are making and manipulating the market to increase the difference that they are making between what they are paying to get the dollars and what they are getting when they sell them to get rands again.

Prof Simon Roberts, Executive Director of the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development at UJ

He says it is not surprising that South African banks have been involved in this global phenomenon.

Roberts unpacked the implication of the allegations, competition among currency markets and regulation required.

Take a listen to the full explanation:

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