John Cronan, acting assistant attorney general at the U.S. Justice Department, said the bank misused confidential client information for its own profit on more than one occasion.
United Kingdom-based HSBC agreed to pay a $63.1 million criminal penalty and $38.4 million in disgorgement and restitution to settle charges contained in a two-count criminal information alleging wire fraud.
HSBC Holdings (LON:HSBA) has agreed to pay $101.5 million to settle a foreign exchange investigation in the United States, the Asia-focused lender has said.
As part of the US deal, HSBC has entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the US Department of Justice.
Europe's biggest bank agreed to enhance compliance and internal controls in its global markets programme following the incidents and to cooperate fully with the USA regulator.
Mark Johnson was found guilty of defrauding client Cairn Energy in a 2011 currency trade.
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The DPA, which would allow HSBC to avoid criminal charges, is pending a review by a United States court.
These additional steps include implementing algorithms to manage risk around benchmark orders, updating its employee policies, and hiring external firms to monitor its trades. Another former executive, Stuart Scott, is now fighting an attempt to extradite him to the USA to face charges he denies. In total, HSBC admitted to making profits of approximately USD38.4 million on the first transaction in March 2010, and approximately USD8 million on the Cairn Energy transaction in December 2011.
However, it comes just weeks after HSBC was released from an earlier five-year DPA, for lapses in anti-money laundering controls in relation to Mexican drug cartels, for which it paid a $1.9bn fine.
In September, the US Federal Reserve fined HSBC $175m in over "unsound" practices in its foreign exchange business.
HSBC has agreed to continue cooperating with investigators and foreign authorities in any related investigations, including cases brought against individuals and to enhance its internal safeguards against misconduct.