Global law firm Hausfeld LLP. announced Thursday that the plaintiffs in the Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation have reached settlements totaling more than $2 billion with nine of the world’s largest banks.
In the statement released last night, Michael Hausfeld, the law firm’s chairman, said the settlement was “just the beginning”.
US heavyweight Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas also settled.
None of the banks involved agreed to comment on yesterday’s announcement.
Lawyer Michael Hausfeld said this was just the start.
Those banks and five others have agreed to provide “substantial cooperation” as the plaintiffs pursue claims against seven other defendants accused of manipulating prices in the $5.4 trillion-per-day foreign exchange market, Burke said.
The nine banks have also agreed to further cooperate with regard to ongoing action against the seven lenders which have dismissed the settlement, namely StanChart, SocGen, RBC, Deutsche, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.
The lawsuit was filed by a group of clients, including individuals, institutional investors and hedge funds, that have engaged in FX swaps, futures, options and spot transactions with the banks.
Thursday’s agreements are distinct from proceedings led by US and British regulators, which in May ordered $6bn 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.
Using the kind of colourful language typical in the spate of market rigging cases involving the banks, traders assumed names such as “The Cartel”, “The Bandits’ Club”, and “The Mafia” to communicate and place confidential orders.
In the class action, previously announced settlements include $99.5 million from JPMorgan, $394 million from Citigroup, $180 million from Bank of America Corp and $135 million from UBS AG.
The settlements must be approved by U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield before they can take effect.
“Investors around the world should take note of the significant recoveries secured in the United States and recognize that these settlements cover a fraction of the world’s largest financial market”, he said.