Standard Bank comments on Rand manipulation allegations

  • Standard Bank has issued an official statement denying any involvement with Rand manipulation.
  • Earlier this month Standard Chartered admitted to manipulation and was issued a fine as a result.
  • Standard Bank says it has been wrongly implicated in the incident.

This month many South African financial institutions garnered the ire of citizens for alleged involvements in Rand manipulation. At the time of writing, only Standard Chartered had admitted its involvement, being issued a relatively hefty fine of R42 million in a settlement agreement with the South African Competition Commission.

Seemingly tarred with the same brush, as many banks have been, Standard Bank has issued an official statement on the matter, aiming to set the record straight by denying any involvement with Rand manipulation.

“Standard Bank has noted with serious concern false and inaccurate comments in some media and social media related to the Competition Commission investigation into currency manipulation. These comments incorrectly link various unrelated and unfounded allegations with the Competition Commission inquiry currently under adjudication before the Competition Appeal Court, in South Africa,” the institution’s statement shared with Hypertext lays out.

“We take this opportunity to re-iterate Standard Bank’s position. Standard Bank has not manipulated the value of the Rand. Standard Bank has not engaged in any anti-competitive or criminal conduct. All such claims are false,” it emphasised.

As we have seen in the days following the reports of currency manipulation, many have called for all financial institutions to penalised in line with, and even more harshly than Standard Chartered has been, with the hashtag #RandManipulationIsTreason trending on X (formerly Twitter) for more than a week now.

It is also alleged that South African banks have generated trillions of Rands as a result of the manipulation, which has served to fuel cries for punitive action to be taking.

Standard Bank, however, says it has and will continue to follow the laws outlined for financial institutions locally.

The rest of its statement is as follows:

Standard Bank is committed to behaving with complete integrity at all times. We are equally committed to making a positive contribution to the societies in which we work. 

Standard Bank’s long-run performance depends on the success of the economy and on the economic wellbeing of our clients.

Standard Bank is wholly committed to the rule of law, respects the important role of institutions, and upholds South Africa’s Constitutional democracy, and our Constitutional obligation to ensure that our country ‘improves the quality of life of all citizens.

Standard Bank is a leading advocate of the investment case for South Africa. We have consistently stood with the government, organised labour, organised business and civil society in promoting inclusive growth and sustainable development in South Africa. 

Assertions that Standard Bank is not supportive of the interests of our customers, of South Africa’s economy and society and of the Constitution of South Africa are not consistent with how Standard Bank conducts itself.


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