UPDATE 1-Standard Chartered is dropped, for now, from US currency case

Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:27pm EDT
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(New throughout, adds details from decision, case citation)

NEW YORK, March 31 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday dismissed Standard Chartered Plc from a class-action lawsuit accusing 16 banks of harming investors by rigging prices in the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan nonetheless said the plaintiffs could seek within seven days to substitute the bank's Standard Chartered Bank unit as a defendant, after having perhaps "inadvertently named" the parent instead.

Schofield said she lacked jurisdiction over the parent because it lacked offices in the United States, unlike the bank unit, which has operated in New York.

The judge also rejected dismissal requests by two other banks that have also operated in New York, Societe Generale and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Bank of Tokyo, Societe Generale, Standard Chartered and Royal Bank of Canada's RBC Capital Markets unit were added to the lawsuit after Schofield in January said investors may pursue their case against the other 12 banks.

Investors accused the banks of colluding to manipulate the WM/Reuters Closing Spot Rates, known as the Fix.

The case is In re: Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-07789. (Reporting by Nate Raymond and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)