Coverage: Investors sue five big banks for forex rate rigging
Five global banks including Barclays, JP Morgan, and UPS are facing a lawsuit in the UK with the plaintiffs accusing them of manipulating foreign exchange rates.
Kirstin Ridley and Iain Withers had the news for Reuters:
Barclays (BARC.L), JP Morgan (JPM.N), RBS (RBS.L), UBS UBSG.L and Citigroup (C.N) are being sued by investors over allegations they rigged the global foreign exchange market, in a test of U.S.-style class actions in Britain.
The claim, estimated to be worth more than 1 billion pounds ($1.24 billion), was filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) on Monday, U.S. law firm Scott + Scott said.
JP Morgan, RBS, UBS, Barclays and Citi declined to comment.
Some of the world’s biggest investment banks have already paid more than a combined $11 billion in fines to settle U.S., British and European regulatory allegations that traders rigged the currency markets.
Litigators have long hoped to replicate in Britain the success of U.S. class action claims against banks, including Goldman Sachs (GS.N), HSBC (HSBA.L) and Barclays, that have resulted $2.3 billion in settlements for big investors.
Bloomberg’s Kaye Wiggins quoted a representative of the plaintiff group:
“The message is really clear — we want markets to work fairly,” said Michael O’Higgins, a pension fund chair who’s spearheading the U.K. suit. “People involved in markets will argue the case for free markets. They’ve got to make sure they’re fair as well as free.”
The case was filed in the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London on Monday by Scott+Scott Europe, a spokesman for the law firm said. Its U.S. arm Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP led the class action that ended with $2.3 billion in settlements.
O’Higgins, who chairs the Local Pensions Partnership, a U.K. public sector pension fund, and the Channel Islands Competition & Regulatory Authorities, said that on a conservative estimate the banks may have to pay out 1 billion pounds if he wins. The lawsuit could take three to five years, he said, and thousands of institutional investors could be in line for payouts if it succeeds.