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Barclays Gold Price Fix Scandal Only Hints at Bigger Problem

Barclays Plc (NYSE ADR: BCS) was fined $43.8 million today (Friday) by a U.K. regulatory agency as part of a gold price fix episode back in 2012 .

A trader abused Barclays' role as one of the big banks that participates in a twice-daily conference call to set gold prices. He manipulated the price of gold lower to avoid taking a big loss to a customer who had (correctly) bet gold prices would rise.

But just because Barclays got caught doesn’t mean they are the only member of the gold price fix group that’s guilty…

HSBC Fine for Money Laundering is Largest Bank Penalty in U.S. History

The HSBC fine for money laundering charges reached a record $1.92 billion as Europe's biggest bank settled charges in an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department.

The fine is the largest penalty ever imposed on a bank from the Justice Department.

The Justice Department had accused HSBC Holdings PLC of illegally laundering money for Mexican drug cartels and with violating sanctions by doing business with countries including Iran, Cuba, Libya, Sudan and Myanmar, according to Reuters.

In a statement, HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said: "We accept responsibility for our past mistakes. We have said we are profoundly sorry for them, and we do so again. The HSBC of today is a fundamentally different organization from the one that made those mistakes."

Under new senior leadership over the past two years, Gulliver said, "we have been taking concrete steps to put right what went wrong and to participate actively with government authorities in bringing to light and addressing these matters."

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HSBC Pursues South African Bank to Claim Key Spot in African Trade Financing

European banking leader HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE ADR: HBC) yesterday (Monday) announced it's in talks to gain a controlling stake of South Africa's Nedbank Group Ltd. (PINK ADR: NDBKY). The acquisition would expand HSBC's presence in Africa's trade growing financing market.

Europe's largest bank aims to gain 70% of Nedbank's shares and plans to bid on insurer Old Mutual PLC's (PINK ADR: ODMTY) 52% stake, worth $7 billion. Nedbank is South Africa's fourth largest bank and focuses on commercial banking services, operating in 33 African countries.

The hot pursuit of South Africa's banking industry is fueled by the rapid trade growth the country is experiencing with Asia - especially China.

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Dubai World May Ask Banks to Take 20% "Haircut," Delay Payments to Solve its Debt Bomb

Dubai World may ask banks to take a so-called 20% "haircut" from the face values on their loans and stretch out loan maturities when it presents a restructuring plan this month. The banks may be able to avoid the haircut if they allow the state-owned investment firm to stretch payments for as long as 10 […]

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Investment News Briefs

With our investment news briefs, Money Morning provides investors with a quick overview of the most important investing news stories from all around the world.

Reuters Poll Shows Manufacturing Decline; Treasury Pushing Banks to Stem Foreclosures; Sands Hong Kong IPO Flops; India GDP Growth Could Lead to Monetary Tightening; LatAm to Return to Growth in 2010; China Snaps Back at Currency Accusations

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Buy, Sell or Hold: HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE: HBC) Has Absorbed the Financial Crisis' Impact and Is Now Exploiting It

In tough times, the strong get stronger, and HSBC Holdings PLC is (NYSE ADR: HBC) is cherry-picking the world. HSBC is one of my favorite banks in the world. And that feeling is shared. In fact, "the world's local bank," as they like to call themselves, is the largest recipient of deposits in the world. […]

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Investment News Briefs

With our investment news briefs, Money Morning provides investors with a quick overview of the most important investing news stories from all around the world. Santander IPO Aiming for $7.3 Billion; Deloitte: Flat Holiday Sales; RBS Gauging $8 Billion Share Sell Interest; HBSC Downgrades Lukoil; Citi: BHP May Consider Share Buyback; Lennar Posts Another Loss; […]

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Banking Bellwether HSBC Forecasts a “Tough” Year

By Don MillerAssociate EditorMoney Morning Europe's biggest bank, HSBC Holdings PLC (NYSE ADR: HBC), said first quarter profits increased substantially over last year, but 2009 will be a "tough" year as bad loans increase and the economy slowly pulls out of the recession. The bank's profits benefited from record results in its investment bank and […]

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