The Times
31.07.17

Standard Chartered is among five banks that have collectively agreed to pay more than $100 million to settle American legal claims relating to rigging prices in the $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

The $111.2 million settlement with victims includes $17.2 million from Standard Chartered, the London-listed bank that focuses on Asia, and $50 million from Morgan Stanley, the American bank, the biggest of the five.

It comes after a settlement with nine banks totalling more than $2 billion in 2015, including Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland, and means that 14 of the 16 banks sued have now settled. Barclays’ settlement at the time was $384 million, HSBC’S $285 million and RBS’s $255 million. Scott+Scott, the law firm representing investors, said that Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank were the remaining defendants.

As part of the agreement into allegations that banks colluded in the foreign exchange market at the expense of clients, the five banks must provide “valuable co-operation” and hand over transaction data, documents and witness interviews.

David Scott, managing partner at the international law firm, which opened an office in London last year, said that the focus was on the two remaining banks in the American case and also on preparing claims in Europe.

“With a significant group already formed, we are confident of bringing a material claim against banks across Europe and obtaining relief for our clients in other countries,” he said.

The latest US settlement also included $15.5 million with Royal Bank of Canada, $18 million with Société Générale and $10.5 million with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.

A spokesman for Standard Chartered, which is led by Bill Winters and is scheduled to announce its half-year results on Wednesday, declined to comment yesterday.

The latest round of settlements also comes after global regulatory investigations into currency manipulation that triggered about $10 billion in fines for several leading banks.

Big settlements were reached between six of the world’s biggest banks and regulators in America, Britain and Switzerland in November 2014, before a second settlement with US regulators in May 2015.

Foreign exchange-rigging is among a number of scandals to have engulfed the banking sector, including Libor manipulation, since the financial crisis, which has damaged the reputation of bankers and hit profits and share prices.