JPMorgan, HSBC Accused of Rigging Silver Market

A lawsuit follows closely on the heels of a regulatory push.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

and

HSBC

(HBC)

have been targeted with a pair of lawsuits by investors accusing them of driving down silver prices to illegally earn hundreds of millions,

Reuters

reported Thursday.

The suits accuse the banks of building up huge "short" positions to drive down the price for silver.

"Defendants reaped hundreds of millions if not billions in profits," the report quoted one of the lawsuits as stating.

The plantiffs, Brian Beatty and Peter Laskaris, claim to have lost money on silver futures trades as a result of the alleged manipulation.

The suits come a day after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is investigating a London-based JPMorgan trader for alleged silver price manipulation,

The Wall Street Journal

reported Wednesday. The suits were filed a day after the CFTC proposed tougher rules aimed at combating price manipulation, the

Reuters

states.

JPMorgan and HSBC could not immediately be reached for comment.

--

Written by Dan Freed in New York

.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.