JPMorgan Chase & Co. HSBC, and UBS Group AG are among five banks being sued over allegations of foreign-exchange rigging in a class-action lawsuit seeking more than £1bn ($1.2bn or just over R17bn), Bloomberg reported yesterday.
Barclays, Citigroup and Royal Bank of Scotland Group are also among the targets of the United Kingdom suit that will say pension funds, asset managers, hedge funds and corporations lost out because of market manipulation between 2007 and 2013 and should be compensated.
The lawsuit centers on collusion on foreign-exchange trading strategies, for which the European Commission fined Barclays, RBS, Citigroup, JPMorgan and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, a total of €1.07bn in May. UBS escaped a fine because it was the first to tell regulators about the collusion.
Traders ran two cartels on online chatrooms, the European regulator said. Many of them knew each other, calling one chatroom “Essex Express n’ the Jimmy” because all of the traders but one met on a commuter train from Essex to London. Other names for rooms were the “Three Way Banana Split” and “Semi Grumpy Old Men.”
It’s the latest development in a case that’s already triggered regulatory probes around the world, and billions of dollars in fines as well as $2.3bn (R32.69) in settlements in the United States last year.