Reuters reports that HSBC examined the trades done by Mark Johnson, its global head of foreign exchange cash trading, in 2013 as part of a broader internal probe and found no irregularities, the source said.
Johnson was on Wednesday charged in a criminal complaint filed in a federal court in Brooklyn with engaging in a scheme to front-run a $3.5bn transaction by one of the bank's clients, alongside former HSBC executive Stuart Scott. Both men were charged with wire fraud conspiracy.
On Wednesday the bank said it was co-operating with the Department of Justice's (DoJ) investigation.
In its statement, the DoJ did not name the client the pair allegedly defrauded, but a different source familiar with the situation said the trades involved British oil firm Cairn Energy.
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