Foreign exchange (FX) rate manipulation

In June 2013, the news broke that foreign exchange markets had been illegally manipulated by traders at the world’s largest banks.


Evidence revealed that traders of foreign currencies had been communicating with each other in internet chat rooms to control foreign exchange rates to benefit their employers – major banking institutions – at the expense of the banks’ investors. The traders shared confidential client information with each other, including key pricing thresholds, and then coordinated trades with each other to ensure that automatic trades were triggered to their own benefit – and to the detriment of their customers.

Several banks – including Barclays, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, RBS, UBS, and Bank of America – were fined more than $10 billion for their traders’ conduct, and numerous current and former employees exercised their Fifth Amendment right not to testify to avoid self-incrimination.


Hausfeld’s financial markets team was well placed to act on behalf of those who lost money as a result of these unlawful practices, having managed similar litigation concerning manipulation of interest rate averages (LIBOR) stifling competition in financial markets.  Being able to demonstrate expertise in this arena, our lawyers were in a strong position to investigate and lead a class of investors through litigation against well-funded, massive financial institutions.


Hausfeld pursued this case on behalf of all parties that engaged in over the counter foreign exchange transactions, against sixteen major financial institutions and fifteen  settled with the class for more than $2.3 billion.

Hausfeld lawyers have worked with investors to evaluate and maximize their claim recovery both in the United States and in Europe. Information on the ongoing collective action filed by Hausfeld in England is available on its dedicated website.


Following the ground-breaking settlements in the case, the Financial Times commended Hausfeld for its representation of plaintiffs in FOREX in its 2018 North America Innovative Lawyers Report. The Hausfeld team also won Global Competition Review's “Litigation of the Year- Cartel Prosecution” award in 2016 for this case.

The Financial Times Global Competition Review