Tembinkosi Bonakele. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Tembinkosi Bonakele. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Regulatory provision for greater monitoring of the trading activities of banks is needed, says Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.

Briefing Parliament’s economic development committee on Tuesday on the commission’s case of collusion against 18 banks accused of manipulating the value of the rand, Bonakele said this was a high-risk area that needed closer monitoring and the commission was discussing the question with the Treasury.

There were also other areas of banking supervision that could be strengthened, and the commission was working on this, he said.

Bonakele noted that there were also aspects of bank mergers that could be improved. For example, the commission was concerned that the four major banks took a share of African Bank as part of the rescue efforts to salvage the bank. This meant that African Bank would have to compete against its shareholders.

The commission had proposed that a condition be attached to the arrangement requiring the banks to exit their shareholding after a time but this was overruled by the minister of finance at the time, who had the power of override in such matters.

Bonakele said the commission had participated in the initiative to improve the regulation of the banking sector under the Financial Sector Regulation Bill.

"There have been gaps identified and these are being attended to," he said.

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