Barclays PLC, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., BNP Paribas SA, HSBC Holdings PLC and the Royal Bank of Scotland PLC have agreed to settle class action litigation alleging the companies manipulated the $6 trillion foreign exchange market. This brings the total settlements to more than $2 billion. The settlement with the five banks comes on top of previously announced settlements that have seen Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. pay a combined $808.5 million in recent months.
Details of the individual settlements, including the dollar amounts, will be made public when the settlement documents are filed. It should be noted that every regulatory agency that has looked at this case around the world has found bad conduct. There have been a total of nine settlements involving banks that were involved.
Specifically, the Plaintiffs allege that from as early as 2003 and through 2013, the banks used multiple online chat rooms – with names like “The Cartel,” “The Bandits’ Club” and “The Mafia” – to communicate in code to avoid detection. “Being a member of certain chatrooms was by invitation only, indicating the secret nature of this conduct,” the complaint says, adding that the chat rooms “replaced the classic smoke-filled backrooms of the past.” The banks are accused of fixing prices by agreeing to widen the difference between the prices at which they buy and sell currency, manipulating benchmark rates, and exchanging confidential customer information in an effort to trigger client stop-loss and limit orders. If this sounds complicated and complex, it’s because it is.
To recap the settlements, over the past year, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and JPMorgan Chase Bank NA agreed to pay $99.5 million in January; UBS AG, UBS Group AG and UBS Securities LLC settled for $135 million in March; Bank of America Corp. and Bank of America NA agreed to pay $180 million in April; and Citigroup Inc. and Citibank NA were required to pay $394 million in May. All except Bank of America were part of a broader $5.6 billion settlement with U.S. and U.K. authorities in May. Each of those settlements have included cooperation agreements.
Only Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse AG and Deutsche Bank AG have not settled from the original group of banks that were named as Defendants in the litigation. However, the Plaintiffs in late July named Japan’s Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Canada’s RBC Capital Markets LLC, France’s Societe Generale SA and Britain’s Standard Chartered PLC as Defendants. That brings the total number of Defendant banks in the litigation to 16.
The Plaintiffs are represented by David R. Scott, Christopher M. Burke, Kristen M. Anderson, Sylvia M. Sokol, Walter W. Noss and William C. Fredericks of Scott & Scott LLP, and Michael D. Hausfeld, William P. Butterfield, Reena A. Gambhir, Timothy S. Kearns and Nathaniel C. Giddings of Hausfeld LLP. As a matter of interest, Scott & Scott opened a London office to pursue claims there. These lawyers did excellent work in this extremely complicated litigation.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.