Hong Kong Adds HSBC to its Probe on Benchmark-Rate Manipulation

Following Singapore's move, Hong Kong's central bank is investigating HSBC Holdings and other banks about the possible rigging of the Hong Kong Interbank Offered Rate (Hibor).


Hibor is based on an average of 14 quotes submitted by 20 banks including BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd., HSBC Holdings Plc and Standard Chartered Plc, according to the Hong Kong Association of Banks’ website. The three highest and three lowest submissions are excluded from the average.


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority says that the probe begun with UBS AG in December after receiving information from overseas regulators about alleged possible misconduct by the Swiss banking giant.


The HKMA’s investigation has included “millions of communication messages records” so far, which suggest that the investigation may take months because of the large volume of documents.


While HSBC is among the 20 banks censured by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the HKMA said the Hong Kong probe isn't connected to the Singapore investigation.


The Hong Kong authority didn't identify other banks apart from HSBC and UBS in its probe into submissions for Hibor.


The HKMA has been seeking to enhance the credibility of the Hibor fixing amid the world-wide probe. In February it stripped supervisory powers from the Hong Kong Association of Banks and gave it to the Treasury Markets Association, a group led by the HKMA's deputy chief executive. It also said then it would phase out rates with little market demand.


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