Articles Tagged with HSBC Holdings

In the US, HSBC Holdings Plc. will pay approximately $100M in penalties to settle a Department of Justice’s criminal probe into currency rate rigging—that’s a $63.1M fine and $38.4M in restitution. The bank’s deal is a three-year deferred prosecution agreement, which means that no criminal charges will be brought as long as HSBC fulfills the terms. As part of the settlement, HSBC will help the government with its criminal probe of individuals who may have played a part in the rate manipulation and enhance its internal controls.

The currency rate rigging allegations involved at least two ex-HBSC employees, including Mark Johnson, the ex-worldwide head of its foreign exchange trading and Stuart Scott, the ex-head of its European currency trading. Johnson has already been convicted in the front-running case involving a $3.5B trade by client Cairn Energy Plc. He is scheduled for sentencing next month. Scott is currently fighting a court order in the UK so as to avoid extradition back to the US to face the criminal charges against him.

Both men are accused of buying British pounds leading up to the Cairn Energy trade, with the expectation that their purchases, and the one by Cairn Energy, would cause the pound’s price to go up. After the Cairn Energy order went through and the value of their pounds rose, the two men sold their currency at a profit.

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The deferred prosecution deal between a HSBC Holdings PLC (HSBC) unit and the US government is now at risk as prosecutors consider whether to file a criminal charge against the bank. It was in 2012 that the HSBC said it would pay $1.92B to resolve a money laundering investigation involving its top executives and lax oversight that allowed drug cartels and terrorists entry into the U.S. financial system. HSBC admitted that it did business with sanctioned countries, such as Iran, and helped Mexican drug cartels launder funds.

As part of the deal to avoid prosecution, the bank agreed to retain an independent monitor to make sure that it complied with anti-money laundering requirements. HSBC is still on probation.

Now, however, the Justice Department is looking into whether the bank has broken any U.S. laws since the deferred prosecution deal was put in place. That deal includes a section stating that HSBC could still be held responsible for its conducted related to the money laundering charges.

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBC) will pay $35M to resolve an antitrust lawsuit accusing the bank of Euroyen Tibor and Yen Libor rigging. The securities case, brought by Sonterra Capital Master Fund, Hayman Capital Management, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, lead plaintiff Jeffrey Laydon, and other institutional investors, accused HSBC and other banks of manipulating benchmark rates over several years.
According to the investor lawsuit, Laydon sustained losses in the thousands of dollars in 2007 when shorting the Euroyen Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate (Euroyen Tibor).

As part of the settlement, HSBC will provide attorney proffers detailing facts that the bank uncovered during its own probes into Euroyen Tibor and Euroyen Libor manipulation, witness statements made by its employees, specific documents that it has given to the Federal Reserve Board of New York and regulators, and other information.

A judge has to approve the deal.

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HSBC Finance Corp., an HSBC Holdings Plc. (HSBC) unit, will pay $1.575B to settle a shareholder class action securities case that was brought in 2002. The case involves Household International, the consumer finance business that HSBC purchased in 2003. Household International is now HSBC Finance.

Household shareholders accused the company of inflating its share price by hiding its poor mortgage lending practices and bad quality loans. When Household consented to pay U.S. state regulators $484M to resolve predatory lending claims in 2011, its share price dropped by over 50%.

HSBC became the defendant against claims by Household shareholders when it purchased the company for $14.2B. That deal eventually led to write-downs for tens of billions of dollars for bad loans in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis.

Shareholders won a $2.46B judgment against the British Bank in 2013. In May 2015, however, a federal appeals court tossed the award and demanded a new trial to decide whether “nonfraud factors” that were specific to the firm played a part in the Household’s share price dropping.


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