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US banks said to face manipulation probe over metals pricing | Livemint

The metals investigation, which is in the early stages, broadens the Justice Department’s ongoing scrutiny of banks over manipulation of financial benchmarks. Photo: Bloomberg

‘Conduct Issues’

Three banks that settled currency-manipulation claims with US regulators in November—JPMorgan, Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp.—were required under terms of those agreements to review and identify “other trading activities that could raise similar market conduct issues.” Those reviews triggered scrutiny of precious metals trading, another person familiar with the matter said.

Fixings, price-setting rituals dating back a century for gold, silver, platinum and palladium, are being overhauled as scrutiny increases over how market benchmarks are set. Switzerland’s regulator said in November that it found “serious misconduct” by UBS employees in precious metals trading. Barclays was fined in May by the Financial Conduct Authority after a trader sought to influence the gold fix in 2012.

HSBC, Barclays and Deutsche Bank are among banks that have been sued in the US over claims they conspired to manipulate precious metals prices for years.

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US banks said to face manipulation probe over metals pricing.