Banks set­tle for US$2 bil. in forex rig­ging suit

The China Post - - MARKETS -

Nine ma­jor banks ac­cused of for­eign-ex­change rig­ging have agreed to pay more than US$2 bil­lion to in­vestors in set­tle­ments, a law firm in­volved in the process said Thurs­day.

Plain­tiffs have “reached set­tle­ments to­tal­ing more than US$2 bil­lion with Bank of Amer­ica, Bar­clays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Gold­man Sachs, HSBC, JPMor­gan, RBS and UBS,” le­gal firm Haus­feld said in a state­ment pub­lished af­ter a hear­ing in New York.

Haus­feld, which rep­re­sented in­vestors, gave no in­di­ca­tion how the sum would be di­vided be­tween the banks and said that the agree­ments were pre­lim­i­nary and must still be ap­proved by U.S. Dis­trict Judge Lorna Schofield.

In June, sources close to the sit­u­a­tion re­ported that Bar­clays would pay US$375 mil­lion, HSBC US$285 mil­lion, BNP Paribas nearly US$100 mil­lion and Gold­man Sachs about US$130 mil­lion. But they also spec­i­fied that the amounts were sub­ject to change.

None of the banks re­sponded im­me­di­ately when con­tacted by AFP.

Some of the banks in Thurs­day’s an­nounce­ment had al­ready agreed to spe­cific sums.

U. S. bank­ing gi­ant JPMor­gan Chase agreed to pay US$99.5 mil­lion in Jan­uary, fol­lowed by Bank of Amer­ica at US$180 mil­lion, Cit­i­group at US$394 mil­lion and Swiss UBS at US$135 mil­lion.

“In ad­di­tion to the bil­lions of dol- lars in com­pen­sa­tion, these set­tling banks have agreed to co­op­er­ate with in­vestors in their con­tin­u­ing lit­i­ga­tion” against other in­sti­tu­tions, Haus­feld said.

Thurs­day’s agree­ments are dis­tinct from pro­ceed­ings led by U.S. and Bri­tish reg­u­la­tors, which in May or­dered US$6 bil­lion in fines on six ma­jor banks — Bar­clays, JPMor­gan Chase, Cit­i­group, Royal Bank of Scot­land, UBS and Bank of Amer­ica — for rig­ging for­eign ex­change mar­ket and Libor in­ter­est rates.

Bar­clays, JPMor­gan Chase, Cit­i­group and the Royal Bank of Scot­land all pleaded guilty to U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment charges of con­spir­ing to ma­nip­u­late the mas­sive cur­rency mar­ket.

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