HSBC Holdings will pay $175 million to settle Federal Reserve claims stemming from an investigation of the bank’s foreign exchange trading, including accusations that traders misused customer information and were improperly allowed to communicate with competitors.
The Fed order released Friday detailed multiple instances of improper behavior, including trading strategies that involved conflicts of interest and traders in the FX spot market conspiring to manipulate benchmark rates using electronic chat rooms. The London-based bank will be required to fix inadequacies in its “governance, risk management, compliance, and audit policies,” the regulator said.
“We are pleased to have resolved this matter,” HSBC said in an emailed statement. The Fed said the bank cooperated with the investigation.
One of the world’s largest currency traders, HSBC was among seven banks that paid more than $10 billion in fines to U.S. and European regulators for manipulating benchmark exchange rates. And Mark Johnson, HSBC’s former global head of foreign exchange cash trading in London, is currently on trial for accusations that he illegally used his knowledge to profit from a pending $3.5 billion currency transaction in 2011.
Also, Law360 reported Friday that Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay $190 million to settle allegations that it rigged foreign exchange rates. Deutsche Bank was the last of several large banks sued for forex manipulation to agree to a settlement with plaintiffs.