Credit Suisse faces lawsuit over allegations of investor currency rigging
By Jody Godoy
(Reuters) – An investor lawyer suing Credit Suisse Group AG told a jury in a U.S. court on Tuesday that discussions between traders proved the world’s biggest banks colluded to fix prices in the forex market between 2007 and 2013.
Credit Suisse is the last remaining bank defendant in the class action lawsuit that began in 2013, after 15 others reached $2.31 billion in settlements. Investors have accused Credit Suisse traders of sharing non-public pricing information with traders at other banks, including in chat rooms with names such as “Yen Cartel”.
“Trust the cats, the cats will tell you what happened when,” Christopher Burke said in opening statements in Manhattan federal court.
The trial is expected to last about two weeks. The jury will decide whether there was a conspiracy to rig the forex market and whether Credit Suisse was involved in one or more schemes.
The bank’s lawyer, Edward Moss, said in his opening statement that separate discussions between handfuls of traders do not prove that Credit Suisse engaged in a conspiracy to rig the world’s largest financial market.
“There were people in this industry who did things they weren’t supposed to do, but they didn’t do what the plaintiffs allege,” he said.
The earlier settlements followed regulatory investigations that resulted in more than $10 billion in fines for several banks and the conviction or indictment of some merchants.
Some investors, including Allianz SE’s BlackRock Inc and Pimco, have opted to “opt out” of the investor litigation. Investors usually do this when they hope to recover more by suing themselves.
The case is In Re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-07789.
(Reporting by Jody Godoy in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Matthew Lewis)