Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS are facing a £1 billion ($1.23 billion) class action lawsuit over rigging the foreign exchange markets – one of the biggest cases of its kind in the UK. It comes just months after European regulators hit many of the same banks with a €1 billion-plus penalty for manipulation of these same markets between 2007 and 2013.
The new suit alleges that end investors, including pension funds, lost out as a result of the manipulation and deserve compensation. It was filed at London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal by Scott+Scott, the US law firm.
It mirrors a $2.3 billion class action overseen by Scott+Scott two years ago. The firm has opened a European office to lead the new claim, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The news was first reported by Reuters. Barclays BARC, -1.93% BCS, -1.80% , Citi C, -0.07% , JPMorgan JPM, -0.22% and RBS RBS, -4.01% declined to comment. UBS, -0.97% id not respond in time for publication.
Class actions are a popular means of litigation in the US, where they allow multiple parties to sue another under one banner. British courts were cleared to hear cases brought under this framework in 2015.
Earlier this year, the European Commission fined Barclays, Citi, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and Japan’s MUFG €1.1 billion over collusive behaviour in the $5.1 trillion-a-day foreign exchange markets.
The European Union’s executive arm found that traders had exchanged information on risk positions and plans for trade in Bloomberg chat rooms called The Cartel and Three Way Banana Split.