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HSBC confirms FX probe

Monday, November 04, 2013 - 01:32

Nov. 4 - HSBC has become the latest major bank to confirm it is helping with a probe into possible manipulation of global currency markets, after reporting a 10 percent rise in quarterly profits, aided by lower costs. Sonia Legg report

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The inquiry into possible manipulation of global currency markets is sparing very few. HSBC is the latest major bank to confirm it's helping investigators. The admission comes as Europe's largest lender reported underlying pretax profit of $5.1 billion for the three months to September. It's up 10 per cent on last year thanks largely to tighter cost controls introduced by Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver and fewer loses on bad loans. Chris Hughes is from Reuters BreakingViews. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS HUGHES, REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS, SAYING: "Gulliver's action is actually paying off on the bottom line so even though their income is flat they are actually generating more profit, and that is thanks to management action led by Gulliver." There are questions about where profit will come from once cost cutting is complete. But Gulliver sees evidence of a broad recovery. He believes the US will continue to grow - albeit slowly - while the UK will out perform the euro zone. Britain and Hong Kong accounted for more than half of earnings, offsetting a fall in Latin America. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS HUGHES, REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS, SAYING: "Wherever you look there's always one part of the business geographically that is doing badly and another part that's doing well and in the latest results there is some offsetting geographically - it is by no means a consistent picture which is why it is flat overall." Unlike others, HSBC hasn't suspended any staff over the latest trading investigation. But regulatory uncertainly remains a concern as financial watchdogs continue to refine new rules

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HSBC confirms FX probe

Monday, November 04, 2013 - 01:32