Type of Claim: Competition under article 101 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)/US Opt-Out
Claim Period: 1 January 2009 – 31 December 2015
Defendants: Bank of America, Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Nomura
Jurisdiction: England / Southern District New York
Governing Law: English law / US federal laws
Limitation: 8 December 2021
Opt-out Date: No deadline date has been set
The allegations are that throughout the claim period the defendants operated a price-fixing cartel. If proven, the alleged conduct is likely to amount to unlawful anti-competitive behaviour as well as give rise to other causes of action (subject to the particular factual circumstances).
In December 2015, it was announced that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) was investigating price fixing allegations in the $10 trillion supranational, sub-sovereign and agency (SSA) fixed income bond market.
Lawsuits were filed, predominantly by US pension funds, in the Southern District of New York court during 2016 and a consolidated class action was formed in August 2016 (16-CV-03711) in respect of claims for price fixing of US dollar denominated bonds bought and sold by US clients. Preliminary settlement agreements for a total of US$95m and disclosure of electronic chats have been agreed with three of the defendant banks: Deutsche Bank (US$48.5m), HSBC (US$30m) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (US$17m).
On 20 December 2018, the European Commission informed four banks of its preliminary view that they had breached EU antitrust rules by colluding, in periods from 2009 to 2015, to distort competition in secondary market trading in the European Economic Area of SSA bonds denominated in US dollars. The four banks are believed to be Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Nomura.
Stewarts considers that clients, especially non-US clients, may have substantial claims that are not covered by the US proceedings.
If the US class action survives the motions to dismiss (this has already failed once), it may be beneficial for some clients to opt-out of the US class action to seek a global recovery via a US opt-out and English action.
If you bought or sold SSA bonds in the period 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2015, Stewarts would like to discuss potential claims with you and can estimate your claim value through an analysis of your bond trading data free of charge and without obligation.
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