Banks could face investigation over $20bn sale of Archegos assets

A number of top banks could face investigations from UK and US regulators over a fire sale of Archegos Capital Management assets worth around $20 billion following the hedge fund’s collapse.

It has been reported that The US Securities Exchange Commission and Wall Street regulatory body Finra, have requested information from Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, UBS, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, and Credit Suisse about a meeting they had with Archegos founder Bill Hwang on Thursday, which the Financial Times (FT) said was a last-ditch attempt to sell off billions in assets.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has also reportedly contacted the six banks.

The UK watchdog did not confirm whether it had been in touch with the organisations, but a spokesperson said: “We and other supervisory authorities are aware of the situation, which we continue to monitor.”

The three authorities are looking into the meeting to determine whether or not the banks in attendance acted inappropriately.

On Friday banks sold large numbers of shares underpinning Archegos’ trades, which cut $33 billion of value off media groups ViacomCBS and Discovery, as well as Chinese tech stocks like Baidu, with the sales triggering losses for Nomura and Credit Suisse worth billions, the FT reported.

Karen Kessler, a spokesperson for Archegos, said: “This is a challenging time for the family office of Archegos Capital Management, our partners and employees. All plans are being discussed as Mr Hwang and the team determine the best path forward.”

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