Dispute over evidence in FX benchmark rigging case heats up - FinanceFeeds

Dispute over evidence in FX benchmark rigging case heats up

JPMorgan, Bank of America, HSBC and Barclays argue that all of their requests for documents to be produced by the plaintiffs are in accordance with the Court’s prior orders.

A dispute sparked by requests for documentation to be produced by plaintiffs in a Forex benchmark fixing case is heating up. On Monday, November 13, 2017, a number of defendants in this case, including JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM), Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C), Barclays Capital Inc, and HSBC Bank USA, sought to object to the suggestions by the plaintiffs that the banks request too much information from them.

The plaintiffs, representing a putative class of consumers and business end-users, have been requested to provide:

  • All documents relating to plaintiff’s Forex transactions, including, but not limited to, documents identifying for each such transaction: transaction time and date; transaction location; counterparty information; exchange rate; amount and type of currency exchanged; the purpose of the transaction, etc.
  • All communications between any plaintiff and any defendant relating to a plaintiff’s foreign currency exchange transaction.
  • Documents sufficient to show all financial institutions and retail branches at which each plaintiff has engaged in Forex transactions.
  • All documents relating to any advice, information, guidance, instructions or recommendations Plaintiffs sought or received concerning Forex rates, from Defendants or otherwise.
  • All documents and communications upon which Plaintiffs rely for the contention that “the foreign exchange rates paid by Plaintiffs and the putative class of consumers and business end-users are the FX Benchmark exchange rates or “Fix rates” that are derived daily from FX spot trading, plus a small handling fee”, as well as all documents and communications concerning this contention.
  • All documents and communications upon which Plaintiffs rely for the contention that “Defendants each utilize computer programs that regularly, at least daily, transmit updated Benchmark exchange rates derived from FX spot trading plus a small fee for handling to each of their bank branches for retail sales of foreign currency to Plaintiffs and consumers and business end-users”, as well as documents and communications concerning that contention.
  • All non-privileged documents reflecting or referring to communications between Plaintiffs and any other person or entity concerning Plaintiffs’ Foreign Exchange Currency transactions.

The plaintiffs allege that the items requested exceed the limitations imposed by the Court and are far beyond the scope of the requirement for production of information about “named plaintiffs’ transactions involving foreign currency exchange.”

On Monday, the banks sought that the plaintiffs’ requests are denied for being premature and improper. The defendants argue that contrary to plaintiffs’ suggestions, the parties have not met and conferred on any of these subjects. Also, the plaintiffs’ requests are said to amount to untimely motions to reconsider the Court’s prior orders.

All document requests served on plaintiffs’ address comply with the Court’s prior orders, the banks say. The defendants argue that they are entitled to gather these documents from plaintiffs to test the basis for plaintiffs’ allegations and their adequacy as class representatives on a factual record.

The case, captioned Nypl v. JP Morgan Chase & Co. et al (1:15-cv-09300), continues at the New York Southern District Court.

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