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Big investors sue 16 banks in the US over rigging of currency market

The banks being sued include: Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley

Reuters  |  NEW YORK 

Dollar, US Dollar

A group of large institutional investors including and SE's has sued 16 major banks, accusing them of rigging prices in the roughly $5.1 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

The was filed on Wednesday in the in Manhattan by plaintiffs that decided to "opt out" of similar nationwide litigation that has resulted in $2.31 billion of settlements with 15 of the banks. [nL2N1MA13S]

Those settlements followed worldwide regulatory probes that have led to more than $10 billion of fines for several banks, and the convictions or indictments of some traders.

The banks being sued are: of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Japan's MUFG Bank, Royal of Canada, Royal of Scotland, Societe Generale, and

Investors typically opt out of litigation when they hope to recover more by suing on their own.

The plaintiffs in Wednesday's accused the banks of violating U.S. by conspiring from 2003 to 2013 to rig currency benchmarks including the WM/Closing Rates for their own benefit by sharing confidential orders and trading positions.

This manipulation was allegedly done through chat rooms with such names as "The Cartel," "The Mafia" and "The Bandits' Club," through tactics with such names as "front-running," "banging the close," "painting the screen" and "taking out the filth."

"By colluding to manipulate FX prices, benchmarks, and bid/ask spreads, defendants restrained trade, decreased competition, and artificially increased prices, thereby injuring plaintiffs," the 221-page complaint said.

Norway's central bank and the big public pension fund California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) are among the several other named plaintiffs.

Many of the plaintiffs plan to pursue similar litigation in against many of the with respect to trades in Europe, a footnote in the complaint said.

Citigroup's $402 million settlement is the largest in the earlier litigation. has yet to settle that case. Neither had an immediate comment on Wednesday's

The firm & Sullivan represents the opt-out investors.

The case is Global Investors GMBH et al v et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-10364.

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 05:02 IST