PRESSBOX

Investors Propose Distribution Plan In $2B Forex Settlement

Law360, New York (September 1, 2016, 11:20 AM ET) -- Plaintiffs in a $2 billion foreign exchange manipulation settlement with nine banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., on Wednesday filed their proposal for distributing that money to aggrieved investors.

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs filed a plan in federal district court in Manhattan that will include notice by mail to investors and publicity in national and international publications, all driving investors to a website where they can submit claims. The proposal is subject to approval by U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield, who is presiding over the case.

"These are some of the largest settlements in any antitrust case. We hope that members of the class come forward to claim what they are due from these nine banks," said David Scott, the managing partner of Scott & Scott LLP and one of the lead attorneys in the case.

The settlements included in the broad agreement Judge Schofield gave preliminary approval to in December come in litigation alleging that JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays PLC, HSBC Holdings PLC, TheRoyal Bank of Scotland PLC, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., BNP Paribas SA, UBS AG and Bank of America Corp. engaged in a broad scheme to rig the $6 trillion foreign exchange market.

The first settlement to be announced came in January 2015 when JPMorgan agreed to pay $99.5 million.

Since then, UBS AG, UBS Group AG and UBS Securities LLC settled for $135 million in March; Bank of America Corp. and Bank of America NA agreed to pay $180 million in April; and Citigroup and Citibank NA were required to pay $394 million in May. Barclays agreed to pay $384 million, HSBC Holdings will pay $285 million and BNP Paribas agreed to a $115 million contribution to the settlement funds.

RBS will pay $255 million and Goldman Sachs will pay $135 million if the settlement gets final approval.

Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan, RBS and UBS were part of a broader, $5.6 billion settlement with U.S. and U.K. authorities in May 2015. Of those five banks, only UBS was able to avoid a guilty plea to criminal charges of alleged foreign exchange manipulation.

Each of the class action settlements included a cooperation agreement.

Judge Schofield has given careful scrutiny to the proposed settlements, including asking for details regarding damages to determine whether the $2 billion combined payout was enough to remedy the alleged violations.

As part of the distribution plan, attorneys will evaluate claims made by individual investors and determine the amount that will be disbursed to them.

Even if Judge Schofield provides final approval of the settlement, there is still potentially a long way to go.

The plaintiffs still have claims outstanding against Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse AG and Deutsche Bank AG, which were in the original group of banks that were sued, continue to fight the class claims.

And Japan's Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Canada's RBC Capital Markets LLC, France's Societe Generale SA and Britain's Standard Chartered PLC were named defendants in July, bringing to 16 the number of banks that were ensnared in the litigation.

The plaintiffs are represented by David R. Scott, Christopher M. Burke, Kristen M. Anderson, Sylvia M. Sokol, Walter W. Noss and William C. Fredericks of Scott & Scott LLP, and Michael D. Hausfeld, William P. Butterfield, Reena A. Gambhir, Timothy S. Kearns and Nathaniel C. Giddings of Hausfeld LLP.

JPMorgan is represented by Boris Bershteyn, Patrick Fitzgerald, Peter Greene and Peter Julian of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

Barclays is represented by David H. Braff, Kathleen S. McArthur, Yvonne S. Quinn, Jeffrey T. Scott and Matthew F. Sullivan of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

BNP Paribas is represented by Laura R. Hall, John Terzaken and Molly Anne Kelley of Allen & Overy LLP.

Goldman Sachs is represented by Leah Brannon, George S. Cary, Victor L. Hou, Thomas J. Moloney and Elizabeth Vicens of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

HSBC is represented by Gregory T. Casamento, Roger B. Cowie, Edwin R. Deyoung, James M. Goodin and Julie C. Webb of Locke Lord LLP.

RBS is represented by Greg D. Andres, Arthur J. Burke, Joel M. Cohen, Jennifer Kan, Melissa C. King and Lewis C. Shioleno of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

The case is In re: Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, case number 1:13-cv-07789, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

--Editing by Rebecca Flanagan.

 

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