Case Spotlight: LIBOR Bondholders Antitrust Case Reaches Preliminary $25.5m Settlement

On April 9, 2020, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and RBS agreed to pay $25.5 million to resolve claims that the banks allegedly conspired to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). LIBOR is an interest-rate benchmark used to value more than $300 trillion of financial instruments worldwide. The proposed action put before the judge brings the total settlement pool for aggrieved Bondholders to $68.625 million. After surviving several attempts to dismiss Bondholder claims in the past, Plaintiffs are optimistic that they are starting to see fair compensation and hope that this will lead to further settlements down the road.

This matter is a highly complex antitrust class action with more than one dismissal, multiple appeals and a previous settlement in 2012. The recent class action was filed in the wake of with Barclays Bank PLC’s admittance as one of several banks allegedly lying about the interest rates it actually expected to pay in order to artificially influence LIBOR. The suit argues that defendants intentionally lowered their submissions in the LIBOR setting processes to manipulate the benchmark rate for their own benefit. As a result, purchasers did not receive as much in interest payments for their U.S. Dollar LIBOR based instruments from the banks as they should have.

Currently the settlement is pending preliminary approval and there is no proposed claims filing date, however FRT will continue to monitor the progression of this action and keep the market informed of any meaningful updates.

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