HSBC is expecting to get hammered by more huge fines in the FX manipulation scandal

GettyImages 103416758Oli Scarff/Getty ImagesA car has a wheel clamp attached in Kensington on August 17, 2010 in London

HSBC is putting aside $US1.3 billion (£830 million) to cover settlements and court actions covering allegations the bank manipulated benchmarks used to price foreign exchange trades.

HSBC paid out around £390 million ($US$US610 million) in November to the UK and US financial watchdogs over accusations it rigged currency prices, but there are more investigations in the works.

There’s “a criminal investigation in the US, as well as investigations by the civil competition authorities in the EU, Brazil and South Korea,” HSBC said in its half-year earnings report today.

A with pretty much all the other major global banks out there, FX manipulation isn’t the only legal issue on HSBC’s plate. Here are a few more:

  • Authorities in the EU and US are probing the bank’s precious metals trading operation.
  • HSBC faces court cases and an EU investigation into its activities in the credit derivatives industry, over allegations the bank helped restrict new entrants into the credit default swap pricing industry.
  • The US is investigating whether HSBC helped clients avoid tax, which the bank said could extent to other jurisdictions “in the light of the recent media attention regarding these matters.”
  • HSBC is being sued for failing to protect clients who lost money investing with Ponzi-schemer Bernard Madoff. The litigation could cost the bank anything up to $US800 million (£511 million).
  • HSBC could also get hit with a fine up to $US500 million (£320 million) for mis-selling identity theft protection products in the US.

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