Plaintiffs in FX benchmark rate fixing case clarify motion for class certification

Maria Nikolova

This private antitrust case targets banks like JPMorgan, HSBC, Citi, Barclays and UBS that agreed “to eliminate competition in the purchase and sale of the EUR/USD currency pairs in the United States and elsewhere”.

While the disagreements around depositions in a Forex benchmark rate fixing case targeting major banks continue, the plaintiffs in the case have provided details on their proposed motion for class certification.

The lawsuit is a private antitrust case brought under Sections 4 and 16 of the Clayton Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 15, 26, alleging violation of Section of the 1 Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1, in that it is alleged that the defendants, including banks like JPMorgan, HSBC, Citi, Barclays and UBS, agreed “to eliminate competition in the purchase and sale of the EUR/USD currency pairs in the United States and elsewhere”.

Each of the defendant banks confessed that they “eliminated competition in the purchase and sale of the EUR/USD currency pairs” and that their violations were in disregard of the law.

In a Letter, filed with the New York Southern District Court on February 7, 2020, the plaintiffs say that they are the representatives of the following designated class:

“All consumers and businesses in the United States who directly purchased supracompetitive foreign currency at Benchmark exchange rates from Defendants and their co-conspirators for their own end use at least since January 1, 2007 to [December 31, 2013]”.

The plaintiffs argue that their claims for class certification are compliant with the requirements.

For instance, Rule 23(a)(1) requires that “the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impractical.” Transactional data produced in this action, the plaintiffs say, demonstrates that there are thousands of end-user class members, who purchased foreign currency “for their own end use”, so the numerosity criterion is satisfied.

The plaintiffs also note that their class definition corresponds with commonality requirements. Rule 23(a)(2) requires that “there are questions of law or fact common to the class.” According to the plaintiffs, the alleged violation of antitrust law is a common issue capable of class-wide resolution. Plaintiffs’ expert will present generalized class-wide proof that the defendant banks’ conspiracy to fix and manipulate benchmark exchange rates resulted in the plaintiffs and the class paying higher prices for foreign exchange than they would have paid but for the defendants’ conspiracy to fix and manipulate benchmark exchange rates. Plaintiffs’ expert will provide an analysis of causation by preparing a regression analysis that shows a statistically significant correlation between the spot fix rate and the end user rate.

Regarding typicality, the plaintiffs argue that each class member’s claims and injuries arise from a common overarching conspiracy to fix and manipulate FX benchmark exchange rates that resulted in a common antitrust injury that “the manipulated FX benchmark rates were the primary component of the prices Plaintiffs and the class paid for foreign currency in the consumer retail market.”

Read this next

Retail FX

Orfinex joins Financial Commission as approved broker member

Multi-asset brokerage firm Orfinex has become a member of the Financial Commission, joining the ranks of the self-regulatory organization. This accreditation reassures traders that the firm meets the quality standards set by the commission.

Fintech

Telegram CEO’s Bitcoin stash valued in hundreds of millions

Telegram CEO Pavel Durov revealed that he has held several hundred million dollars in fiat and bitcoin for the past decade.

Digital Assets

Bitcoin drops below $60K as halving just 300 blocks away

Bitcoin fell below the $60,000 mark on April 17, just days before a scheduled reduction in mining rewards, known as the “halving,” which is set to occur on April 20.

Chainwire

New Meme Coin ICO Dogeverse Raises $6 Million After Completing Coinsult Audit

A new multichain meme coin, Dogeverse, has raised $6 million in its presale and recently passed a smart contract audit.

The new meme coin leverages bridge technology, ensuring the token is available across the most prominent on-chain markets.

Retail FX

Interactive Brokers posts Q1 earnings, raises dividend

Interactive Brokers Group Inc (NASDAQ:IBKR) announced its first-quarter financial results for the period ending March 31, 2024. The leading automated global electronic broker reported a GAAP diluted EPS of $1.61 and an adjusted EPS of $1.64.

Fundamental Analysis, Tech and Fundamental

Global FX Market Summary: USD, FED, Gold  April 17 ,2024

The Fed’s hawkish stance on interest rates is strengthening the US dollar while central banks globally grapple with inflation and economic growth.

Digital Assets

Kraken launches self-custodial wallet, joining competitors like Coinbase

Kraken, the second-largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, has introduced its own digital wallet, aligning its offerings with those of competitors like Coinbase.

blockdag

BlockDAG’s Lunar Teaser Skyrockets Presale to $17.8M! Polkadot’s Price Soars with Optimism & Chainlink Unveils Updates

Polkadot (DOT) price prediction expects a rally as DOT garners attention for its high development activity, whereas Chainlink launches a new bridging tool. Meanwhile, BlockDAG has entered stage 9, with an impressive $17.8 million garnered in its ongoing presale.

Chainwire

MetaWin Announces Innovative TOKENIZED Tesla Cybertruck Contest on Ethereum’s Base Layer 2 Blockchain

This NFT, which represents full ownership rights to The Cybertruck, has been launched on the Ethereum Base Layer 2 blockchain operated by cryptocurrency giant Coinbase.

<