JPMorgan has reached a $22 million ‘ice breaker’ settlement in a class action suit alleging that it, along with other banks, conspired to fix Swiss franc-denominated Libor interest rates, according to a filing at the New York federal court.
As the first deal to be struck in the case, the plaintiffs hope that it will serve as a potential catalyst for other banks to settle or at least strengthen their positions through verdicts against the remaining defendants.
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On Wednesday, lawyers for a group of investors asked a judge to approve the proposed settlement with JPMorgan. As part of the proposed pact, the lender has agreed to cooperate with the plaintiffs by making its trading records, submissions to government investigators and more available to investigations.
In December 2016, Switzerland’s competition commission fined JPMorgan $33 million for operating a cartel with RBS that aimed to influence the Swiss franc Libor benchmark, which is tied to the London interbank offered rate.
Financial watchdogs across the globe have been probing banks’ rigging of Libor and similar benchmarks that are used to indicate interest payments for several financial products. The investigations centred around an alleged plot among major banks to manipulate Libor to benefit their own trading positions.