Euribor antitrust claims continue against two U.S. banks

Recently, a New York federal judge allowed an antitrust class action to continue against JPMorgan and Citigroup for their alleged conspiracy to manipulate Euribor, the euro interbank offered rate. The suit claims that from June 2005 to March 2011, the banks conspired to fix Euribor, the rate used to reflect the interest rate charged on short-term loans of unsecured funds in euros between prime banks and the wholesale money market.

While litigation against JPMorgan and Citigroup continues, the district judge in the case removed four lead plaintiffs from the suit, saying they lacked standing, as well as six foreign defendants who didn’t fall under his jurisdiction because their allegedly illegal activities weren’t tied to the U.S. The judge determined the remaining plaintiffs were ultimately the only ones that could allege direct transactions with the defendant banks.

The defendants dismissed from the case — UBS, Rabobank, Credit Agricole, RBS, Société Générale and ICAP — were all deemed to be out of jurisdiction because their connections to the U.S. were insubstantial. While the banks had operations in the U.S., the judge determined the alleged misconduct took place abroad, and without a nexus to the U.S., therefore taking place outside his jurisdiction.

Because Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. are Delaware corporations with headquarters in New York, the claims against the banks continue.

Click here to access FRT’s Securities Litigation & Class Action Trends – 2016 Year in Review for more insight into antitrust and securities class actions.