12 Big Banks Settle Antitrust Claims for $1.9 Billion

(CN) – Twelve of the world’s biggest banks agreed to pay $1.86 billion to settle claims that they colluded to obstruct greater transparency in the credit default swap market.
A Los Angeles retirement fund led more than 10 plaintiffs in a class action lobbing antitrust claims at a dozen major banks, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), and its data-service provider Markit.
Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS all were named as defendants.
The $1.86 billion settlement is one of the largest ever in an antitrust class action, according to a statement Thursday from class counsel at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Pearson, Simon & Warshaw.
Each of the banks has also agreed to changes in licensing procedures that will make it easier for electronic-trading platforms to enter the credit default swap market, a change intended to promote competition and transparency.
The class action had accused the banks of conspiring against the Credit Market Derivatives Exchange (CMDE), a credit default swap clearinghouse and exchange designed to promote transparency and competition.

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