The Canadian unit of HSBC Holdings, Europe's No. 2 banker by market value, has reached a tentative settlement with a national securities regulator over charges that it allowed rapid trading within its mutual funds.

Details of the settlement won't be released until a panel approves them at a hearing on Aug. 31 in Toronto, according to recent report from the Toronto Star.

HSBC Securities is accused of failing to prevent rapid trades in mutual funds, which can raise costs for other fund holders, from January 2002 to July 2002. In December, the regulator settled similar cases with the brokerage units of Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Bank of Montreal, which paid a combined $41.3 million in fines according to the report.

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