July 28, 2017 / 10:19 PM / 4 months ago

Morgan Stanley, RBC, others settle currency rigging lawsuit in U.S.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley (MS.N), Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) and three other banks agreed to pay a combined $111.2 million to settle U.S. litigation accusing them of rigging prices in the roughly $5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

The Morgan Stanley logo is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 19, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The preliminary settlements were detailed in filings late Friday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and require a judge’s approval.

Fourteen of the 16 banks that were sued have settled, for a total payout of $2.12 billion, court papers show.

Friday’s settlements include $50 million for Morgan Stanley, $15.5 million for RBC, $18 million for Societe Generale (SOGN.PA), $17.2 million for Standard Chartered Plc (STAN.L) and $10.5 million for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (8306.T).

The banks denied wrongdoing. Their settlements were reached with help from Kenneth Feinberg, a mediation specialist who previously oversaw funds to compensate victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Investors accused banks of conspiring to manipulate key currency benchmark rates, including the WM/Reuters Closing Spot Rates, or the Fix, through the use of chat rooms with names such as “The Cartel” and “The Mafia,” and such tactics as “front running,” “banging the close” and “painting the screen.”

Lawyers for the investors said Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.S) and Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) have yet to settle. Deutsche Bank declined to comment. Credit Suisse was not immediately available for comment after market hours.

The litigation followed worldwide probes into currency manipulation that resulted in about $10 billion in fines for several large banks.

U.S. prosecutors have brought related criminal charges against six traders. One has pleaded guilty.

Other banks that have settled the investor litigation are Bank of America, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS.

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 Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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