Case Details

Type of Claim: Competition under article 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)

Claim Period: 1 January 2003 – 31 December 2013

Defendants: Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS

Jurisdiction: England / Southern District New York

Governing Law: English Law / US federal laws

Limitation: To be determined

Opt-out Date: No opt-out deadline date has been set

 

Case Summary

The allegations are that the defendants’ conspired to manipulate the foreign exchange (FX) market, largely through the use of multi-bank chatrooms.

There have been numerous regulatory investigations and findings globally including in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. For example, in December 2015 the US Department of Justice announced felony guilty pleas by the following banks along with the corresponding fines: Barclays ($650m); Citi ($925m); JP Morgan ($550m); RBS ($395m) and UBS ($203m).

On 16 May 2019 the EU Commission issued a press release announcing two settlement decisions in which five banks (Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland (“RBS”), Citigroup, MUFG Bank and JP Morgan) were fined a total of €1.07 billion for participating in foreign exchange spot trading cartels.

The first decision (so-called “Forex – Three Way Banana Split” cartel) imposed a total fine of €811,197,000 on Barclays, RBS, Citigroup and JP Morgan.

The second decision (so-called “Forex – Essex Express” cartel) imposed a total fine of €257,682,000 on Barclays, RBS and MUFG Bank.

UBS was an addressee of both decisions, but was not fined as it revealed the existence of the cartels to the Commission, thereby avoiding a fine of €285 million.

The EU Commission has not published the two settlement decisions. It is in discussions with the banks to produce public versions of its decisions that will not contain any business secrets or other confidential information. It hopes to publish versions of the settlement decisions as soon as possible.

Stewarts will evaluate the viability of filing a claim in the English courts following the publication of the EU Commission settlement decisions.

 


 

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