The competition regulator Switzerland has identified seven banks that are under consideration as part of an investigation to determine whether companies in Europe, the US and Japan have agreed to manipulate the price of gold, silver and other precious metals.
Which banks have manipulated the price of gold, silver and other precious metals ?
Among the banks involved in the investigation opened in February include:
- UBS Group AG
- Deutsche Bank AG
- HSBC Holdings Plc
- Barclays Plc
- Morgan Stanley
- Julius Baer Group Ltd
The European Union antitrust regulators disclosed their studies in August on negotiation and trade in precious metals, especially anti-competitive behavior in spot trading, following a US investigation that involved some of the same banks. UBS was ordered to give up 134 million Swiss francs ($ 137 million) profit by the Swiss financial regulator in November for “serious misconduct” committed by bank employees on trade in foreign currency and precious metals .
US prosecutors have examined whether at least 10 banks, including HSBC, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank were manipulating the price of precious metals.
The review follows international probe into the rigging of financial benchmarks for rates and currencies, which have given billions of dollars in fines.
What banks risk for having manipulate the price of gold, silver and other precious metals ?
UBS has been granted conditional clemency. The Zurich-based bank may escape punishment because of its cooperation with regulators. UBS said in May he won immunity from criminal fraud charges in an investigation by the US Department of Justice regarding mistakes on transactions in precious metals.
The Swiss regulator, known as Weko, said he had obtained “guidance” for banks to coordinate prices, ie the gap between supply and demand on precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
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The Swiss investigation could last until 2017, which may lead to a fine for the banks.
The spokesmen of Morgan Stanley, Barclays, HSBC and UBS declined to comment. January Vonder Muehll, a spokesman for Julius Baer, said:
The bank is cooperating with regulators in the framework of the investigation.