Berman Tabacco represents California State Teachers’ Retirement System (“CalSTRS”), which joined the ongoing class action as a named plaintiff in 2017. Plaintiffs allege that, between 2001 and 2011, a number of major banks (including Credit Suisse Group AG (“Credit Suisse”), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPMorgan”), the Royal Bank of Scotland plc (“RBS”), UBS AG (“UBS”) and Deutsche Bank) colluded to manipulate the Swiss franc LIBOR, a global reference rate used to benchmark and price trillions of dollars of financial products.
To date, the European Commission has fined four defendants (UBS, RBS, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse) for anti-competitively operating a cartel to fix the “bid-ask spread” related to the Swiss franc LIBOR-based derivatives. The Swiss Competition Commission also fined UBS, RBS, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse for operating a cartel to fix the bid-ask spread on over-the-counter Swiss franc LIBOR-based derivatives. Plaintiffs seek recovery under the Commodity Exchange Act, federal antitrust laws, RICO, contract law and common law unjust enrichment. The alleged manipulation affected various instruments tied to the Swiss franc LIBOR, including Swiss franc foreign exchange forwards, Swiss franc futures contracts and interest rate swaps.
A settlement of $22 million has been reached with JPMorgan. The case is ongoing as to the remaining defendants.