UK-based banking major HSBC is being investigated by a US regulator regarding the use of unauthorised applications for business communication.

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is investigating “the use of non-HSBC approved messaging platforms for business communications,” the bank revealed in its earnings report.

The CFTC’s investigation is part of a broad investigation by US authorities, HSBC CEO Noel Quinn told Bloomberg news.

“I don’t think it is specific, I think it is general across all financial institutions. They are looking at the use of mobiles and WhatsApp and text messages to make sure it is appropriate,” Quinn told the publication in a phone interview.

“We obviously have internal procedures and requirements as to the use of non-bank platforms,” HSBC chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson was quoted by the publication as saying.

Apart from the investigation into business communication, the CFTC is also looking into interest rate swap transactions related to bond issuances.

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Additionally, the firm revealed that HSBC Holdings and/or certain of its affiliates are facing investigations, reviews, and litigation from various authorities concerning their business and operations.

Some of these include investigations by authorities in Argentina, India and elsewhere for alleged tax fraud, money laundering and unlawful cross-border banking solicitation; a probe by the UK authorities regarding depositor protection arrangements and collections and recoveries operations in the UK.

In December 2021, HSBC was fined $85.16m by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for shortcomings in its anti-money laundering processes.