Caleb Drickey, 02 March 2021
Australian bank Westpac has agreed to a $25 million deal settling claims that it conspired with a cabal of banking institutions to rig the price of derivatives based on an Australian foreign exchange benchmark.
Tuesday’s proposed deal would also compel Westpac, which denied all illegal conduct or wrongdoing, to turn over information related to the alleged price-fixing conspiracy. This would, according to the investors, strengthen cases against Westpac’s co-defendants and lead to similarly-structured deals with the accused conspirators.
In a memorandum, representatives for the proposed class expressed confidence that the newly announced deal would lead to further victories against defendant banks.
“This settlement will likely lead to further settlements, and, should the case be heard on the merits, a verdict in favor of representative plaintiffs and the class,” the memorandum said.
The settlement, which proposes a class of “hundreds, if not thousands of geographically dispersed persons” who traded in Bank Bill Swap Rate-based derivatives between January 2003 and August 2016, significantly expands a class of derivative traders established in JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s 2018 settlement to related claims.
That deal established a $7 million fund to be split between investors who traded in BBSW securities between 2003 and Dec. 30, 2012.