World Economy

S. Korea Fines HSBC, Deutsche Bank

S. Korea Fines HSBC, Deutsche BankS. Korea Fines HSBC, Deutsche Bank

South Korea’s competition watchdog said it had fined HSBC Holdings Plc’s Hong Kong unit and Deutsche Bank AG a combined 59 million won ($50,000) for colluding on foreign exchange swap bids—its first-ever penalty for an FX derivatives-related case, Reuters reported. Officials at the banks agreed to avoid competition and alternately win four rounds of bidding for a company’s FX swaps in 2011, the country’s Fair Trade Commission said in a statement. It did not identify the company. The watchdog fined HSBC 46 million won and Deutsche 13 million won. HSBC’s Seoul branch said it has cooperated fully with the Fair Trade Commission. Deutsche declined to comment. “As the first ever FX derivatives-related case the Fair Trade Commission has uncovered and penalized, the FTC hopes price collusion against clients in the FX market will decrease through this measure,” it said. The action comes as regulators step up efforts to crack down on market manipulation.