BNP Paribas to pay $115 million to settle US lawsuit
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BNP Paribas SA has agreed to pay $115 million to settle investor claims of price-rigging in the foreign exchange market, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The Paris-based bank is among nine that lawyers for the plaintiffs disclosed on Thursday had reached agreements totaling more than $2 billion in class action litigation pending in New York.
Of those banks, the plaintiffs have announced the terms for only four of their settlements, leaving unconfirmed how much BNP Paribas, HSBC Holdings Plc, Barclays Plc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc will pay.
The Wall Street Journal in June reported that HSBC would pay $285 million, while Barclays would pay $375 million. Those numbers remain unconfirmed and representatives for the banks declined to comment.
Goldman Sachs will pay $129.5 million, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday. An RBS spokesman on Friday declined to say how much it will pay, but said it was covered by existing provisions.
In the litigation, investors including hedge funds and pension funds, accused the banks of impeding competition by conspiring to manipulate the WM/Reuters Closing Spot Rates in chat rooms, instant messages and emails.
According to the plaintiffs, traders at the banks used chat rooms with names such as "The Cartel," "The Bandits' Club," and "The Mafia" to communicate with each other.
They said traders manipulated prices through tactics such as "front running," "banging the close" and "painting the screen," using disguised names to swap confidential orders.
The settlements announced Thursday came after four banks - Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Barclays and RBS - pleaded guilty in May in related criminal cases.
In total, U.S. and European regulators have extracted more than $10 billion in settlements with seven banks over the alleged manipulation schemes.
In the class action, previously announced settlements include $99.5 million from JPMorgan, $394 million from Citigroup, $180 million from Bank of America Corp and
$135 million from UBS AG..
Claims remain pending against Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Morgan Stanley, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, Royal Bank of Canada, Societe Generale, and Standard Chartered plc.