Deutsche Bank, UBS and HSBC have been fined for manipulating futures markets in precious metals through a process known as ‘spoofing,’ the US Justice Department and Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced on Monday. Deutsche Bank was fined $30 million while UBS and HSBC were fined $15 million and $1.6 million respectively. Former UBS trader Andre Flotron, who is already indicted, and six former brokers and a tech consultant from New York, Switzerland, Britain, Australia and the United Arab Emirates face charges for placing and aborting deals to manipulate metal market prices from 2008 to 2014. John Cronan, the acting head of the criminal division of the Justice Department, later said such manipulations will erode confidence in US markets and adversely affect legitimate traders and investors. Over a year back, Deutsche Bank paid $7.2 billion in fines for toxic mortgages issued before the meltdown of the US housing market and the global financial crisis. Spoofing is an effective method of manipulating markets in which bankers place and then abort trades to create virtual demand and inflate prices.
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