16 Big Banks in Court For Currency Market Manipulation

A big group of institutional investors including BlackRock Inc and Allianz SE’s Pacific Investment Management Co has sued 16 from the biggest banks, blaming them for prices manipulation in the approximately $5.1 trillion-a-day forex.

The claim was documented on Wednesday in the U.S. Region Court in Manhattan by offended parties that chose to “quit” of similar litigation across the country that has brought about $2.31 billion of settlements with 15 of the banks.

Those settlements pursued worldwide regulatory investigations that have prompted more than $10 billion of fines for many banks, and charges or convictions of some traders.

The 16 banks that are being sued are: Bank of America, HSBC, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Barclays, BNP Paribas, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland, Japan’s MUFG Bank, Goldman Sachs, Royal Bank of Canada, UBS, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale.

Investors usually quit litigation when they hope to recuperate more by suing all alone.

The offended parties in Wednesday’s claim blamed the banks for violating U.S. antitrust law by conspiring from 2003 to 2013 to fix currency prices for their own advantage by sharing trading positions and orders between them.

This conspiracy was purportedly done through chat rooms with names like  “The Cartel,” “The Bandits’ Club,” and “The Mafia” and using names like “painting the screen” “front running,” “banging the close,”

“By plotting to control Forex prices, benchmarks, and offer/ask spreads, litigants controlled exchange, diminished rivalry, and falsely expanded prices, in this manner harming offended parties,” as the complaint notes.

The public pension fund of California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and Norges Bank, Norway’s central bank are among the offended parties in the lawsuit.

Many of the offended parties intend to file a similar lawsuit in London against many of the bank litigants for trades in Europe, a comment in the complaint document said.

The law firm representing the investors is  Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

The case is Allianz Global Investors GMBH et al v Bank of America Corp et al, U.S. Area Court, Southern District of New York, No. 18-10364.

While, many scandals pop up every day for fraud, money laundering, and market manipulation in the Banking system, in most of the times no top executives have been indicted.

The same banks are accusing bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for illegal activity. Despite filing patents about the blockchain technology, banks hate cryptocurrencies because of the threat it is posing to their business model. “The Cartel” will try to control the money until we have the separation of the money from the government. Here it comes in play bitcoin and the blockchain technology.

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