Four more banks named in bond pricing complaint

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LONDON / NEW YORK, April 11 (Reuters) – Investors who are suing a group of traders and banks, claiming they colluded to fix the price of the bonds, have named four other banks as defendants.

An amended copy of their lawsuit, filed in Manhattan U.S. District Court on Monday, shows BNP Paribas, HSBC, RBC and TD Bank were added to the lawsuit, which alleges various banks and individuals manipulated the sovereign, supranational denominated in US dollars. and the agency bond market (SSA).

Bond trader Gary McDonald, who worked at three of the banks, was also named a defendant in the amended lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that McDonald’s was also involved in a collusion to price the bonds.

They join Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Crédit Agricole, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Nomura as defendants, as well as individual defendants Hiren Gudka, Bhardeep Singh Heer, Amandeep Singh Manku and Shailen Pau, who have been appointed in previous trials.

Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Nomura declined to comment. Credit Agricole, Credit Suisse, TD and RBC did not respond to requests for comment.

Lawyers for Pau and Heer declined to comment, while lawyers for Gudka and Manku did not immediately respond to requests for comment. McDonald could not be reached immediately for comment.

The amended lawsuit says lawyers for the investors obtained transcripts of hundreds of electronic conversations between the alleged conspirators, spanning more than 300 trading days.

The lawsuit says the alleged collusion began as early as 2005 and lasted nearly a decade.

“This case concerns a brazen plot to manipulate the market for supranational, sovereign and agency bonds denominated in US dollars,” says the lawsuit. “Rather than the defendant dealers competing to buy and sell SSA bonds to and among investors, the defendant dealers worked as a single team.”

In January last year, International Financing Review, a publication of Thomson Reuters, reported sources saying the US Department of Justice was investigating four London-based SSA traders and the banks that employed them for possible price manipulation. obligations. [bit.ly/2ongDsW].

Since then, several investors have filed complaints against the banks and individual traders allegedly involved.

Monday’s filing adds new details and allegations, including a sample of chat transcripts, though some information, including the transcripts, has been redacted.

The redactions were necessary due to a confidentiality agreement associated with obtaining the documents, a person familiar with the matter said.

Plaintiffs in the consolidated class action lawsuit include the Iron Workers Pension Plan of Western Pennsylvania, KBC Asset Management and Sheet Metal Workers Pension Plan of Northern California. (Additional report by John Geddie; Editing by Nigel Stephenson, Larry King)

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