HSBC Says U.S. Ends Antitrust Probe Into Bank's Metals Trading

  • Justice Department tells HSBC antitrust investigation closed
  • Probe run by criminal fraud section is ongoing, HSBC says

HSBC Holdings Plc said the U.S. Justice Department shut an antitrust probe into 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 filingThursday. 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 U.S. 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.

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