Articles Tagged with HSBC

Deutsche Bank AG (DB) has consented to pay $190M to resolve an investor fraud lawsuit accusing the German lender of manipulating prices in the foreign exchange market. Despite settling, however, the bank maintains that it did not engage in wrongdoing.

Investors accused Deutsche bank and 15 other banks of conspiring to rig key currency benchmark rates by coordinating strategies and sharing confidential trade information and orders. The bank’s traders are accused of meeting in chat rooms to engage in numerous tactics to make more profits regardless of whether or not this meant losses for investors.

Regulator probes into currency rigging have led to $10B in fines imposed against a number of big banks, including the most recent one by the Federal Reserve, which ordered HSBC to pay a $175M fine for not properly monitoring its currency traders. With the investor lawsuits, Credit Suisse Group AG (CS) is the only one of the banks sued by investors that has not settled.

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The US Federal Reserve is ordering HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBC) to pay a $175M fine, accusing the bank of engaging in practices that were “unsafe and unsound” in its foreign exchange trading business. According to the Fed, HSBC did not properly oversee chat rooms in which traders exchanged information about investment positions.

The authorities contend that the bank’s traders exchanged confidential information about client orders and coordinated trades to enhance profits. As part of the securities enforcement action, HSBC will have to improve its controls and compliance risk management as it pertains to FX Trading.

Ex-HSBC Forex Spot Trader Head Accused of Front Running
In a different case, Mark Johnson, the former head of HSBC’s foreign exchange cash trading desk, is on trial over allegations of “front-running” involving forex spot trading. He and co-conspirator Stuart Scott have been charged with wire fraud and conspiracy for allegedly defrauding Cairn Energy PLC in a multi-billion dollar transaction that occurred in 2011. Front-running involving forex markets usually refers to the making of a trade that is proprietary prior to a customer making a potentially market-moving trade in order to profit.

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Deutsche Bank Settle Investor Lawsuit Over Euribor Rigging
Deutsche Bank AG (DB) has agreed to pay $170M to resolve an investor fraud lawsuit accusing the German lender of conspiring with other banks to rig Euribor and other derivatives. Euribor is the European Interbank Offered Rate benchmark and the euro-denomination equivalent of Libor, which is the London Interbank Offered Rate.

FrontPoint Australian Opportunities Trust and the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) are two of the plaintiffs in the Euribor rigging case against Deutsche Bank. However, the bank, despite settling, is not denying or admitting to wrongdoing. It claims to have decided to resolve the case to avoid more lawsuits and further costs.

A preliminary settlement has been submitted in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Now, a judge must approve the deal.

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US prosecutors have arrested HBSC (HSBC) executive Mark Johnson for his alleged involvement in a front-running scam. Johnson is the global head of foreign exchange cash trading at HSBC Bank, which is a HSBC Holdings subsidiary. Also facing criminal charges is Stuart Scott, who is the former head of HSBC foreign exchange cash trading for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He was let go in 2014. Johnson and Scott are the first individuals to face criminal charges in the forex rigging probe.

According to the criminal complaint, which charges the two men with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in 2011 Scott and Johnson inappropriately used information that the bank’s client gave them about a planned sale of one of the client’s subsidiaries. The client had retained HSBC to execute the foreign exchange transaction, which necessitated changing about $3.5B in sale proceeds into British Pound Sterling.

HSBC was supposed to keep the details of this pending transaction confidential. However, Scott and Johnson allegedly misused this information, buying Pound Sterling for the bank’s proprietary accounts, which they held until the transaction went through. This caused the transaction to take place in a way intended to compel the Pound Sterling’s price to jump up.

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New information regarding HSBC Holdings PLC’s (HSBC) history of aiding tax evaders has been released by ex-employee Hervé Falciani to a number of media outlet, as well as the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The data alleges that the bank kept secret accounts for a number of wealthy, celebrity, and/or unsavory individuals, including “dictators and arms dealers,” as well as clients that are on U.S. sanctions lists. HSBC also purportedly would advise clients on how to get around paying taxes in their home countries.

Falciani, an HSBC computer analyst who calls himself a whistleblower, has provided what the BBC is calling the largest data leak in the history of banking. He started sending information out in 2008, copying files onto personal storage devices. The information was sent to French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, who now runs the International Monetary Fund. She notified other governments.

Falciani claims that in 2006,he notified his superiors at HSBC that there were flaws in data storage that could hurt client confidentiality. He said that no one paid attention. Bank officials, however, counter that Falciani issued no such warnings.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging HSBC Private Bank (HSBC) with violating U.S. federal securities laws. According to the regulator, the Swiss private banking arm did not register with the agency before providing clients in this country with cross-border brokerage and investment advisory services.

HSBC Private Bank as agreed to pay $12.5 million to resolve the SEC’s charges. It is also admitting to wrongdoing.

According to the SEC order over the settled administrative proceedings, the private banking arm and its predecessors started providing the services at issue over 10 years ago, growing its clients base to up to 368 U.S. accounts while collecting about $5.7 million in fees. Banking personnel came to this country over three dozen times to solicit clients, offer advice, and fulfill securities transactions. The managers who completed these tasks were not registered to provide these services nor were they affiliated with a registered brokerage firm or investment adviser. These managers also communicated via e-mail and postal mail with clients in the U.S.