Lawyers agree £1.3 billion settlement in US foreign exchange rigging probe

Herald Scotland Greig Cameron / Saturday 15 August 2015 / Business

An exchange rate board.

A LAW firm says it has agreed settlements worth around £1.3 billion with a group of banks to settle a foreign exchange rigging legal case in the United States but is weighing up “concerted action” in London.

Hausfeld signalled it believes the recoveries in the US are “just the beginning”.

The banks involved in the US settlement to investors are Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citi, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, and UBS.

Michael Hausfeld, chairman of Hausfeld, said: “As a result of lengthy, hard-fought negotiations, we have obtained historic recoveries on behalf of US investors.

“Apart from the monetary component, each defendant has agreed to provide substantial cooperation, which will assist investors in their continued litigation against the non-settling defendants.

“While the recoveries here are tremendous, they are just the beginning.

“Investors around the world should take note of the significant recoveries secured in the United States and recognise that these settlements cover a fraction of the world’s largest financial market.”

Anthony Maton, managing partner of Hausfeld (London), said: “The extent of collusive conduct in the FX market is now clear. US investors will see compensation from these settlements. Others will not.

“There is no doubt that anyone who traded FX in or through the London or Asian markets – which transact trillions of dollars of business every day – will have suffered significant loss as a

result of the actions of the banks.

“Compensation for these losses will require concerted action in London.”

RBS confirmed in May it had agreed a settlement in relation to the US action. At that time it said: “The agreement is subject to execution of a final settlement agreement and approval of the federal court in New York that is presiding over the matter.”

At the same time RBS agreed to pay penalties of $395 million to the US Department of Justice and $274m to the Federal Reserve in relation to foreign exchange activities.

No breakdown of how much each bank will pay for the settlement to investors in the US has yet been given.

The law firm confirmed it was continuing litigation in the US against a number of others including of Credit Suisse Group, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Staley, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Standard Chartered, Societe Generale and RBC Capital Markets.

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