Robbins Geller Tapped to Lead Benchmark Manipulation Case Against Banking Giants
On November 25, 2014, the Honorable Jesse M. Furman, United States District Judge, appointed Robbins Geller co-lead counsel in an antitrust and commodities manipulation class action against 14 of the world’s largest financial institutions and a leading industry broker. The lawsuit alleges that defendants violated federal law by conspiring to fix the ISDAfix benchmark rate, a key interest rate for a number of derivatives and other financial instruments. Defendants are part of a panel of banks that sets ISDAfix each day. At the same time, they are also dealers who buy and sell financial instruments that are priced off of ISDAfix. USD ISDAfix rates were supposed to reflect competitive forces of supply and demand in the trillion dollar interest rate derivatives market. Indeed, the banks are the leading dealers in this market and were supposed to compete with each other for the best possible terms for their customers – investors like plaintiffs and the proposed class. Instead of competing, however, defendants entered into a secret conspiracy to fix ISDAfix rates at artificial levels. They did so in order to avoid paying investors what they were owed on interest rate derivatives and to reap illicit profits off their own proprietary holdings. The Firm will continue to aggressively litigate this case, which is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.