Sun, Oct 01, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Fed fines HSBC US$175m for lax forex oversight

AFP, WASHINGTON

The US central bank on Friday fined global banking giant HSBC Holdings PLC US$175 million for failing to oversee foreign exchange traders who misused confidential client information and colluded with traders at competing banks.

Between 2008 and 2013, the bank failed to detect misconduct by senior traders, including its global head of foreign exchange cash trading, the US Federal Reserve said.

Traders used “confidential inside information” to execute trades that benefited the bank, but hurt a corporate client, resulting in traders’ federal indictment in New York on fraud charges.

An internal review by HSBC, which cooperated with authorities, also found that traders attempted to manipulate foreign currency benchmark fixes and market prices generally by colluding with traders at other banks.

In an order, the Fed also directed HSBC to improve internal oversight measures and compliance with risk management requirements in its foreign exchange trading.

The enforcement action comes two months after the Fed also fined BNP Paribas SA US$246 million over similar violations.

HSBC was one of six major US and European banks fined a total of US$4.2 billion by global regulators in a November 2014 crackdown for attempted manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

The bank in 2012 paid US$1.9 billion in fines and other charges after settling with US prosecutors over allegations it had deliberately moved money for drug cartels, clients tied to terrorist organizations and sanctions-barred countries, or failed to prevent this.

The agreement, due to expire this year, requires the bank to cooperate with US law enforcement and avoid further violations or risk seeing reinstated charges linked to money laundering.

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