Six banks sued for participation in unlawful FX spot trading cartels

On 11th December 2019, an application to commence an opt-out collective action, “FX Claim UK”, was launched against Barclays, Citibank, The Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan, UBS and MUFG Bank over their participation in unlawful foreign exchange spot trading cartels between 2007 and 2013. FX Claim UK concerns spot trades and/or outright forwards involving the British Pound, Euro, Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, New Zealand Dollar, Australian Dollar, Danish Krone, Norwegian Krone and Swedish Krona. 

Phil Evans, previously an Inquiry Chair with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), is seeking to represent the interests of thousands of participants in the FX market, ranging from institutional investors, including asset managers, pension funds, hedge funds, mutual funds, to multinational companies, public bodies and private individuals.  

Mr Evans, formerly a Senior Policy Adviser at Which?, has worked tirelessly on behalf of victims of anti-competitive conduct for the last 20 years. An economist, he is currently also Special Adviser for Competition, Consumer and Trade Policy at FIPRA International. He is supported by a consultative panel chaired by Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, a crossbench member of the House of Lords who was a part time judge for 28 years in the High Court and a former member of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. 

He instructed Hausfeld which pioneered competition damages actions in the UK and Europe and is co-lead counsel in the US FX class action, which has so far recovered billions of dollars for those affected by FX misconduct in the US.

The Hausfeld team in London advising on FX Claim UK, led by Hausfeld partners Anthony Maton and David Lawne, has been carefully preparing the UK claim following its review of two European Commission decisions in May 2019 which found that the banks participated in two FX spot trading cartels and imposed fines exceeding €1 billion. A person affected by anticompetitive behaviour described in the decisions is entitled to recover damages for any losses suffered. 

Phil Evans, the Class Representative, commented:

“The European Commission fined these banks more than €1 billion for their wrongdoing. But that should not be where this ends. The fines do not go to those affected by the cartels. Through this action, we want to hold the banks accountable for their actions and secure compensation for affected customers.” 

Anthony Maton, Managing Partner of Hausfeld London, said: 

“The manipulation of the FX market has affected thousands of businesses and individuals in the UK and around the world. We are appealing to everyone who thinks they may be affected to register their interest on” 

The collective action was filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal in central London, a specialist court deciding on competition or economic regulatory disputes. The collective actions regime was introduced under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to facilitate access to justice. Eligible UK-based class members will be included in the claim and may be entitled to compensation. Any class members based outside of the UK will need to opt in to the claim in due course. 

Hausfeld has instructed a team of barristers at Brick Court Chambers: Aidan Robertson QC, Victoria Wakefield QC, Joanne Box and Aaron Khan.  

For more information, visit the FX Claim UK website.

To learn more about the FX case in the United States, please visit our case page.