BarclaysBarclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, JPMorgan and UBS are being sued in the United Kingdom with a lawsuit of at least £1 billion over rigging of the foreign exchange market between 2007 and 2013, according to multiple media reports.

The suit was filed on Monday by US law firm, Scott + Scott, at London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal. As a European version of its previous class-action lawsuit in the U.S., Scott + Scott aims to seek compensation for investors and companies adversely affected by the banks’ actions.

The five banks carried out forex rigging through two cartels of traders namely- “Essex Express” and “Three Way Banana Split”, as reported by Reuters.

As per media reports, the banks have been fined more than $8.5bn by eleven regulators globally for forex manipulation.

The legal action is a follow-up of European Commission’s ruling in May to fine the banks for violation of EU competition law by colluding to reduce competition in the market by swapping commercially sensitive information and trading plans.

The lawsuit is being led Michael O’Higgins, former chairman of Pensions Regulator, and is being funded by litigation funding group, Therium.

The total value of the claim will vary with the number of forex trades executed in London for UK-domiciled units but is expected to go beyond £1bn, as per the reports.

by Sheeba Bhagat Dawar
Market Analyst at IBS Intelligence