Investors have recovered more than US$2 billion in settlements with nine banks over claims of price-rigging in the foreign exchange market and are continuing to pursue claims against seven other banks, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said on Thursday.
HSBC Holdings PLC, Barclays PLC, BNP Paribas SA and Goldman Sachs Group Inc are among the latest banks to reach a settlement in the class-action litigation, lawyer Christopher Burke said in federal court in Manhattan, New York.
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 US$5.4 trillion-per day foreign exchange market, Burke said.
“We look forward if necessary to litigating through trial,” Burke said in an interview after the hearing.
Burke’s co-counsel Michael Hausfeld called the deals “just the beginning,” saying he is being consulted about bringing cases overseas regarding conduct in the larger Asian and European markets.
Both lawyers declined to say much each bank would pay. Goldman Sachs is to pay US$129.5 million, a person familiar with the matter said.
The Wall Street Journal in June reported that HSBC would pay US$285 million while Barclays would pay US$375 million. Those numbers remain unconfirmed and the banks on Thursday either declined comment or did not respond to requests for comment.
The plaintiffs previously announced US$808.5 million settlements with four banks, while Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in May disclosed reaching a deal without announcing the terms.
Investors including hedge funds and pension funds accused the banks of impeding competition by conspiring to manipulate the WM/Reuters Closing Spot Rates in chat rooms, instant messages and e-mails.
According to the plaintiffs, traders at the banks used chat rooms with names such as “The Cartel,” “The Bandits’ Club” and “The Mafia” to communicate with each other.
They said traders manipulated prices through tactics such as “front running,” “banging the close” and “painting the screen,” using disguised names to swap confidential orders.
The settlements came after four of the banks — Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Barclays and RBS — pleaded guilty in May in related criminal cases.
In total, US and European regulators have extracted more than US$10 billion in settlements with seven banks over the alleged manipulation schemes.
In the class action, previously announced settlements include US$99.5 million from JPMorgan, US$394 million from Citigroup, US$180 million from Bank of America Corp and US$135 million from UBS AG.
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