Top global banks are now facing billion-dollar civil claims in London and Asia for losses incurred from the rigging of foreign exchange (Forex) markets. This comes after nine banks including HSBC, Deutsche Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays settled a £1.28 billion claim in a New York court by investors who suffered losses following the FX debacle.
Lawyers claim that this victory could lead to even more claims in London, a sign that there’s no end in sight in the FX case and it was “just the beginning”, said a Financial Times report. Financial institutions might be slapped with claims in London’s High Court as early as autumn from corporates, fund managers, local authorities, and others, the report indicated.
The settlement in New York comes a few months after a record $5.6 billion fine was imposed on six banks by regulators for conspiring to fix prices and rig bids in the $5.3tn-a-day FX market—one of the biggest cases of misconduct in the banking sector.
Analysts note that the financial impact of these cases on banks is difficult to assess at this point. One analyst who asked not to be named in the report said that since clear precedents have not been set, it might be difficult to be specific about civil fines. The remaining six banks which settled Forex claims last week are Bank of America, HSBC, Citi, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
Regulators have been ramping up the pressure on rate-rigging misconduct. Last November, a total of six banks forked over up to $4.3 billion in fines to British and Swiss financial authorities, and according to the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority, rate-rigging is not new, in fact, this type of misconduct have been occurring since 2008 in the banking industry.