Berman Tabacco represents the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, in a class action against numerous Wall Street banks for price-fixing financial instruments tied to the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (“Euribor”). Euribor is an interest rate benchmark used globally each year to price and settle over $200 trillion worth of financial products, including Euribor futures contracts traded on the NYSE LIFFE exchange, and over-the-counter instruments, including interest rate swaps and swaptions denominated in Euros, Euro currency forward agreements, Euro forward rate agreements and Euro currency futures. This case is pending before Judge Kevin Castel in New York federal court.
The class includes investors who purchased financial instruments, mainly issued by the defendant banks, that carried a rate of return indexed to these major benchmark rates. Defendants include financial institutions that were on the panel of banks that submitted interest rates and the inter-dealer broker entities that coordinated and directed the submission of false reports and other manipulative conduct between the panel banks.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated federal antitrust and commodities laws when they colluded from June 2005 to March 2011 to manipulate Euribor in an artificial direction that financially benefitted the defendants’ derivatives positions. Certain defendants named in the lawsuit have already settled with global regulators, paid billions in fines and have sought and been granted ACPERA conditional leniency from the U.S. Department of Justice for alleged anticompetitive conduct in the Euribor market.
To date, settlements in the total amount of $491.5 million have been reached. On May 15, 2018, the court approved settlements in the total amount of $309 million with Defendants Barclays plc, Barclays Bank plc and Barclays Capital Inc. ($94 million); Defendants HSBC Holdings plc and HSBC Bank plc ($45 million); and Defendants Deutsche Bank AG and DB Group Services (UK) Ltd. ($170 million). A settlement of $182.5 million with Defendants Citigroup Inc. and Citibank, N.A.; and JPMorgan Chase & Co. and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. is pending court approval.