U.S. investigating big banks on possible precious-metal price rigging - WSJ

Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:27pm EST
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Feb 23 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are investigating at least 10 major banks for a possible rigging of precious-metals markets, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the inquiries.

Justice Department prosecutors are scrutinizing the price-setting process for gold, silver, platinum and palladium in London, while the CFTC has opened a civil investigation, the newspaper said.

The banks under scrutiny are HSBC, Bank of Nova Scotia, Barclays PLC, Credit Suisse Group AG , Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc , JPMorgan Chase & Co, Societe Generale, Standard Bank Group Ltd and UBS AG, the newspaper said. (on.wsj.com/1FmfjWG)

Reuters could not immediately reach the banks, the DoJ and the CFTC for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

HSBC said earlier in the day that the CFTC issued a subpoena to HSBC Bank USA in January seeking documents related to the bank's precious metals trading operations.

HSBC was one of a number of banks named in lawsuits filed in U.S. courts last year alleging a conspiracy to manipulate gold, silver, platinum and palladium prices, plus precious metals derivatives, during the daily precious metals fixes.

(Reporting by Supriya Kurane in Bengaluru; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)