HSBC To Pay $35M to Settle Rates Manipulation Case

Jun 17 2016 | 7:55pm ET

By Jonathan Stempel (Reuters) - HSBC Holdings will pay $35 million to end private U.S. antitrust litigation claiming that it harmed investors by conspiring with other banks to manipulate the yen Libor and Euroyen Tibor benchmark interest rates.

Papers outlining the preliminary settlement were filed on Friday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Court approval is required.

The accord came 4 1/2 months after Citigroup reached a similar $23 million settlement, in what lawyers for the plaintiff investors called an "ice breaker" that might spur some of the roughly 20 other bank defendants to settle.

An HSBC spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Investors including the California State Teachers' Retirement System and J. Kyle Bass' hedge fund Hayman Capital Management LP accused banks of conspiring to rig yen Libor, Euroyen Tibor and Euroyen Tibor futures contracts to benefit their own trading positions from 2006 through at least 2010.

Other named defendants include Japanese banks such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings, as well as Barclays, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co and UBS.

Banks use the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate (Tibor) to set costs of borrowing from each other.

Libor is often used to set rates on such things as credit cards and mortgages.

The Manhattan federal court is home to many lawsuits in which investors have accused banks of conspiring to rig rates or prices in various financial and commodities markets.

Rate rigging has led to billions of dollars of regulatory fines against banks worldwide.

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