Date
17 August 2018
HSBC says a new US government fine in relation to a currency rigging probe reflects a 15 percent reduction that took into account the bank’s cooperation and 'extensive remediation' efforts. Photo: Bloomberg
HSBC says a new US government fine in relation to a currency rigging probe reflects a 15 percent reduction that took into account the bank’s cooperation and 'extensive remediation' efforts. Photo: Bloomberg

HSBC in US$101.5 mln deal to settle US currency rigging probe

HSBC Holdings has agreed to pay US$101.5 million to settle a US Justice Department criminal probe into the rigging of currency transactions.

The payment includes a US$63.1 million fine and US$38.4 million in restitution to a corporate client, Reuters reports, citing a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) filed on Thursday in a New York court.

In the settlement, HSBC also agreed to bolster its internal controls, and admitted and accepted responsibility for wrongdoing underlying two criminal wire fraud charges filed against the bank.

DPAs let companies avoid criminal charges so long as they comply with the terms.

In October, a federal jury in Brooklyn convicted Mark Johnson, the former head of HSBC’s global foreign exchange cash trading desk, of trading ahead of a US$3.5 billion currency transaction by his client Cairn Energy.

Johnson has yet to be sentenced. Stuart Scott, HSBC’s former head of cash trading for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was also charged in that case and has fought extradition, the report noted.

HSBC agreed to pay Cairn US$8.08 million under a settlement reached in July, which the Justice Department said it credited as “full restitution” to that company.

In a statement on Thursday, HSBC said the US$63.1 million fine reflected a 15 percent reduction that took into account the bank’s cooperation and “extensive remediation” efforts.

The latest sanctions came a month after HSBC was freed from a five-year DPA for alleged lapses in money-laundering controls and for enabling transactions for customers in countries barred by US sanctions.

The banking giant was fined US$1.92 billion in that case.

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RC

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