Banks must face U.S. gold rigging lawsuit; UBS is dismissed

Wed Oct 5, 2016 2:21pm EDT
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* Barclays, ScotiaBank, HSBC, Societe Generale face claims

* Deutsche Bank settlement agreement expected

* Banks accused of suppressing, exploiting gold prices

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge said gold investors may pursue much of their lawsuit accusing four major banks of conspiring for a decade to fix prices and exploit distortions at the expense of investors in global markets for the precious metal.

Antitrust and manipulation claims can move forward against Barclays Plc, Bank of Nova Scotia ("ScotiaBank") , HSBC Holdings Plc and Societe Generale , U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan said in a decision made public on Tuesday.

Investors allege that the banks conspired from 2004 to 2013 to fix prices. They did not estimate the size of the banks' gold portfolios, but said the gold derivatives market alone was as large as $650 billion during the class period.

"From the gold plaintiffs' standpoint, it's a very substantial victory," Dan Brockett, a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan representing the investors, said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

Deutsche Bank AG settled related claims in April, and the investors plan to seek preliminary approval of a settlement, Brockett said.   Continued...