HSBC Holdings Plc said the US Justice Department shut an antitrust probe into bank’s precious metals trading as prosecutors focus on a criminal fraud investigation.
The bank was informed in January that the antitrust division was closing its investigation, while the probe run by the fraud section is ongoing, the company disclosed in a filing. HSBC didn’t immediately comment on the disclosure.
HSBC was among at least 10 banks that were under investigation by the Justice Department over alleged manipulation of precious-metals prices, Bloomberg reported last year. A Justice Department spokesman didn’t immediately comment on whether the antitrust division has closed its investigation into other banks.
The US move doesn’t rule out antitrust enforcement from other regulators after European Union and Swiss officials started probing London-based HSBC’s precious-metals operations. The EU and Swiss investigations are ongoing, according to spokesmen.
Last year, Switzerland’s competition regulator identified HSBC and six other banks that were being investigated as part of the probe.
HSBC Holdings plc is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom.
It is the world’s fifth largest bank by total assets, with total assets of US$2.67 trillion.
It was established in its present form in London in 1991 by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited to act as a new group holding company. The origins of the bank lie mainly in Hong Kong and to a lesser extent in Shanghai, where branches were first opened in 1865.
The HSBC name is derived from the initials of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. The company was first formally incorporated in 1866. The company continues to see both the United Kingdom and Hong Kong as its “home markets”.
HSBC has around 6,600 offices in 80 countries and territories across Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, North America and South America, and around 60 million customers