JPMorgan Chase agreed to settle a lawsuit over its role as one of a number of banks that allegedly rigged prices in the $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.
A group of institutional investors sued more than a dozen banks in Manhattan federal court in 2013, claiming top currency traders used closed-network chat rooms with names such as "The Cartel," "The Bandits' Club" and "The Mafia" to share confidential client information and manipulate the benchmark WM/Reuters rates.
JPMorgan Chase and the investors told U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in a letter today that they'd reached a settlement after "extensive negotiation and mediation" supervised by Kenneth R. Feinberg, the lawyer overseeing a compensation fund for victims of General Motors Co.'s faulty car-ignition switches. Feinberg also managed funds for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and people harmed by the BP Plc oil spill.
Details of the settlement, which must be approved by Schofield before it can take effect, weren't disclosed. A copy of the settlement will be filed with the court by the end of this month, according to the letter.
WM/Reuters rates are published hourly for 160 currencies and half-hourly for the 21 most-traded. They are the median of all trades in a minute-long period starting 30 seconds before the beginning of each half-hour. Rates for less-widely traded currencies are based on quotes during a two-minute window.
The data are collected and distributed by World Markets Co., a unit of Boston-based State Street Corp., and Thomson Reuters Corp.
Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, competes with Thomson Reuters in providing news and information as well as currency-trading systems.
The case is In Re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, 13-cv-07789, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).