WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve fined HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBA.L) $175 million on Friday for “unsafe and unsound practices” in its foreign exchange trading business, the latest in a series of fines for banks that fail to prevent market manipulation.
HSBC failed to monitor chat rooms where traders swapped information about investment positions, the U.S. central bank said, echoing findings by other regulators investigating the $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange or FX market.
“The board levied the fine for deficiencies in HSBC’s oversight of and internal controls over FX traders,” the Fed said in a statement.
The fine follows others of more than $4.3 billion levied by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority on six banks including HSBC in November 2014.
“We are pleased to have resolved this matter related to practices in the FX market from 2008-2013,” said company spokesman Rob Sherman.
Authorities accused HSBC dealers of sharing confidential information about client orders and coordinating trades to boost their own profits. The foreign exchange benchmark they allegedly manipulated is used by asset managers and corporate treasurers to value their holdings.
The Fed’s enforcement action also requires HSBC to improve its controls and compliance risk management concerning the firm’s FX trading, the Fed said.
Reporting by Patrick Rucker; additional reporting by Lawrence White in London; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Tom Brown