On March 22, 2021, Australia And New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) announced that they had separately reached agreements to settle a class action alleging that the banks conspired to manipulate BBSW-Based Derivatives.
The lawsuit, filed in the US in 2016, alleges that during the period of January 1, 2003 – December 31, 2012, each Defendant manipulated the price for Bank Bill Swap Rate-Based (BBSW) Derivatives, a short-term interest rate used as a benchmark for the pricing of Australian dollar derivatives and securities. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants coordinated manipulative, uneconomic transactions of Prime Bank Bills during the daily BBSW “Fixing Window” in order to move the published BBSW rate in a direction that benefitted their BBSW-Based Derivatives trading positions.
This class action was filed in the wake of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) suit in 2016 alleging the same market misconduct, resulting in $125 million from three pre-trial settlements with Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ.
To-date, two additional banks have reached settlement agreements in the US class action:
- JPMorgan Chase – $7,000,000
- Westpac – $25,000,000
Important dates and deadlines
Settlement Class Period: January 1, 2003 – December 31, 2012
Claim Form Deadline: TBD
Fairness Hearing: TBD
Opt-Out Deadline: TBD
If you believe you were active in the BBSW-Based derivatives market between January 1, 2003 – December 31, 2012, you may be eligible to recover as a part of this action. Currently, the settlement is pending preliminary approval. There are no proposed claims filing date and litigation continues against the remaining defendants. FRT will continue to monitor the progression of this action and keep the market informed of any meaningful updates.
To learn more about how FRT can help your firm identify and monitor antitrust litigation opportunities, visit our website.
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