One of the senior foreign exchange executives in HSBC’s London office, Mark Johnson, was apprehended in New York this morning, Bloomberg reports. The arrest is linked to the foreign exchange market fixing scandal with HSBC’s global head of foreign exchange cash trading in London being the first individual to face charges in the U.S.
According to sources cited by Bloomberg, Mr Johnson is to face a judge later today in Brooklyn. The allegations against HSBC’s employee are for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Bloomberg has previously reported that some individuals could be getting charged in relation to the foreign exchange market rigging scandal. With Johnson facing charges, a number of other senior executives at major banks could be facing similar difficulties.
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An HSBC’s spokesperson has declined to comment on the matter, with the case currently not being made public.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, federal prosecutors claim that Mr. Johnson acted in conjunction with former HSBC European head of currency trading, Stuart Scott. The duo allegedly front-ran orders just before executing a huge trade for a client, which was set to purchase $3.4 billion worth of British pounds.
Earlier today, Finance Magnates reported that the U.S. Federal Reserve banned former trader at Swiss bank UBS Matthew Gardiner from the banking industry. According to information cited by Bloomberg, Gardiner has been assisting U.S. prosecutors to build a case against individuals who violated anti-trust laws.
If front-running is considered a criminal offence, the U.S. department of justice is in for a very tough task if it is to identify all of the individuals and companies who have been engaging in high-frequency trading for almost a decade.