HSBC posts higher profit, confirms forex trading probe

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HSBC has reported a 10 percent rise in third quarter profits.

Europe’s largest bank said that was due to tighter control of costs and fewer losses from bad loans.

Underlying pretax profit was $5.1 billion (3.77 billion euros) for the three months to the end of September.

Strong performances in Hong Kong and Britain accounted for more than half of earnings – offsetting a fall in Latin American profits

Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said he saw evidence of a broadening recovery in which the US should continue to grow, albeit slowly, and the UK would outperform the eurozone.

“There are signs for optimism around. We’ve always been confident China would have a soft landing … which is supportive for the rest of Asia-Pacific,” he told a conference call with reporters.

HSBC also confirmed it is being investigated as part of a global probe into a number of banks over alleged foreign currency market trading manipulation.

It is cooperating with Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, which is leading a probe that has spread to include regulators in the United States, Asia and Switzerland. Traders from some of the world’s top banks, including Barclays, Citigroup and JP Morgan have been suspended or put on leave.

HSBC has not taken any action against its staff, Gulliver told reporters.

“We haven’t suspended anyone. It’s at a very early stage and the names we’ve been given so far don’t work for us any more,” he said. The bank said no-one had been fired, and added that it had been contacted in October.

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