US officials are investigating at least 10 major banks for possible rigging of precious-metals markets, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources close to the inquiries.
Justice Department prosecutors are looking into the price-setting process for gold, silver, platinum and palladium in London, while the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has opened a civil investigation, the newspaper said.
The banks under scrutiny are HSBC Holdings Plc (00005.HK), Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Societe Generale, Standard Bank Group Ltd. and UBS AG, the report said.
The precious-metals inquiries are the latest moves taken by regulators looking into how global financial institutions are influencing widely used benchmarks.
Previous investigations into the interest-rate and foreign-currency markets have led to billions of dollars in settlements from major financial firms.
In the case of commodities markets, however, European regulators earlier dropped a probe into allegations of price manipulation after finding no evidence of wrongdoing, the report said.
Some of the banks under scrutiny by the regulators are also fighting potential class-action lawsuits filed by investors, traders and other plaintiffs in a federal court in Manhattan.
More than 25 lawsuits have been filed against Barclays, Deutsche, HSBC, Bank of Nova Scotia and Société Générale over their alleged role in setting the gold fix, according to the Journal.
– Contact us at [email protected]