Financial service giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. has reached a $100 million settlement to resolve a U.S. antitrust lawsuit that sought damages for the alleged rigging of foreign currency markets, in which investors accused 12 major banks of rigging prices in the $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market in the case of In re: Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-07789.
JP Morgan will pay about $100 million and settled the case after mediation with Kenneth Feinberg, an American attorney, specializing in mediation and alternative dispute resolution. Bank of America, Citigroup, HSBC, RBS and UBS also settled with regulators in November for an additional $3.3 billion.
"The settlement represents a good signal by JP Morgan in addressing its involvement," John Norton, Senior Associate at Giambrone's Forex Litigation team, who represents several investors in similar claims "We hope that other banks will follow the same approach. This settlement will undoubtedly put pressure on the other eleven banks to follow suit and represents the beginning to establish the accountability of these banks engaged in the same trading in Europe, to avoid lengthy and expensive litigation for the victims of this currency manipulation scandal"
Giambrone is currently representing several wealthy investors and institutional organisations in similar forex manipulation lawsuits against all banks involved in the forex trading scandal. Other defendants include Bank of America Corp, Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, HSBC Holdings Plc, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG.
The lawsuits charged the banks of allegedly rigging currency rates to boost profit at the expense of customers and investors. The 12 banks held an 84 percent global market share in currency trading, and were counterparties in 98 percent of U.S. spot volume.
The 2013 lawsuit is separate from criminal and civil probes worldwide into whether banks rigged currency rates to boost profit at the expense of customers and investors.
JPMorgan agreed in November to pay roughly $1.01 billion to resolve such probes by U.S. and European regulators. In their complaint, investors including the city of Philadelphia, hedge funds and public pension funds accused the 12 banks of having conspired since January 2003 in chat rooms, instant messages and emails to manipulate the WM/Reuters Closing Spot Rates.
They said traders would use such names as The Cartel, The Bandits' Club and The Mafia to swap confidential orders, and set prices through manipulative tactics such as "front running," "banging the close" and "painting the screen."
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