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Hong Kong’s central bank extended its investigation of possible misconduct in setting the city’s benchmark interest rates to HSBC and other firms after crackdowns by the U.S., U.K., Japan and Singapore.
Bloomberg reports that The Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s probe, which started with UBS in December and has since been widened to 'a number' of banks, is continuing, the central bank said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. HKMA said it asked London-based HSBC, whose shares are listed in Hong Kong, to 'promptly implement' remedial measures required by Singapore’s central bank last week following a similar probe in the city-state.
The review of banks setting the Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate and other benchmarks comes amid increased global scrutiny of data submitted for key rates. Singapore last week censured 20 banks for trying to rig its rates and ordered them to set aside as much as $9.5 bn pending improvements in their controls. The U.K.’s regulator began looking into the currency market after Bloomberg News reported that traders had manipulated rates.
The HKMA’s investigation has included 'millions of communication messages records' so far, according to the statement, which signaled that the probe may take a year because of the number of documents being reviewed. The regulator said in December it will also consider whether any potential misconduct may have had a material impact on the rate.
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