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Report: 10 Big Banks In Antitrust Probe On Precious Metals

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At least 10 major banks are under investigation for allegedly illegal price-fixing of precious metals, according to multiple reports.

The probe is reportedly related to a disclosure Monday by HSBC Holdings plc (NYSE: HSBC) that U.S. prosecutors are conducting a criminal antitrust investigation concerning precious metals and had requested documents from the bank in November.

HSBC also said Monday that it received a subpoena last month from the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission related to the company's U.S. precious metals trading operations.

HSBC said it is cooperating in the investigation which it said is at an "early stage."

Other banks reportedly targeted by the probe include Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE: BNS), Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS), Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS), Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), Societe Generale SA (OTC: SCGLY), Standard Bank (OTC: SBGOF) and UBS Group AG (NYSE: UBS).

Research published last year by New York University's Stern School of Business Professor Rosa Abrantes-Metz suggested collusion in setting gold prices.

Metz's similar 2008 paper on the London interbank offered rate eventually led to a number of banks including Barclays and UBS, to be fined about $6 billion in total, according to Bloomberg.

 

Related Articles (BNS + HSBC)

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Posted-In: News Futures Commodities Legal Markets

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