13 banks settle $91 million Singapore interest case

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A Bank of America logo is pictured in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, New York, the United States, January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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  • 19 banks have reached settlements totaling more than $155 million
  • Plaintiffs’ attorneys will seek attorneys’ fees of up to $52 million

(Reuters) – Thirteen banks have agreed to pay $91 million to resolve civil antitrust claims they have been involved in a conspiracy to manipulate benchmark interest rates in Singapore, contributing to a settlement with six other financial institutions and the Total deals increased to more than $155 million.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys, who represent mutual funds that have sued the banks, said last proposed settlement on May 27 that banks including Bank of America NA, Barclays Bank Plc, BNP Paribas SA and UBS AG had agreed to resolve claims.

Previous settlement defendants included Credit Suisse AG, Deutsche Bank AG, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp Ltd, ING Bank NV, Citibank NA, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court in 2016, accused the defendant banks of manipulating the Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR) and the Singapore Swap Offered Rate. The SIBOR is often used to price banking products. The proposed class includes buyers and sellers of SIBOR derivatives.

Bank officials on Tuesday either declined to comment or did not immediately respond with a request for comment.

The banks refuse any liability.

Lawyers for Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas and UBS did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Tuesday.

Vincent Briganti of Lowey Dannenberg, who is representing the plaintiffs, did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

“The representative plaintiffs have used all available resources to ensure that these negotiated settlements are more than fair,” Dannenberg told U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in a court filing.

Dannenberg said the proposed settlements “represent 28% to 43% of total classwide damages, assuming representative plaintiffs have successfully heard this case through trials.”

Plaintiffs’ attorneys said they plan to seek up to one-third of the total settlement amount for attorneys’ fees, or approximately $51.8 million.

The case is Fund Liquidation Holdings LLC v. Citibank NA, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:16-cv-05263-AKH.

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JPMorgan Chase and five other banks will pay $64 million to settle interest rate case in Singapore

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