By Judy Godoy
(Reuters) – Talks between traders prove that the world’s largest banks colluded to fix prices in the foreign exchange market between 2007 and 2013, a lawyer for investors suing Credit Suisse Group said in a US court on Tuesday.
Credit Suisse is the last banking defendant left in the class action lawsuit that began in 2013, after 15 others reached $2.31 billion in settlements. Investors accused Credit Suisse traders of sharing non-public pricing information with traders at other banks, including in chat rooms with names like “Yen Cartel.”
“Trust the chats, the chats will tell you what happened and when,” Christopher Burke said during opening remarks in Manhattan federal court.
The trial is expected to take about two weeks. The jury will decide whether there was a conspiracy to manipulate the foreign exchange market, and whether Credit Suisse was involved in one or more of the schemes.
The bank’s lawyer, Edward Moss, said in his opening statement that separate conversations between a handful of traders do not prove the involvement of Credit Suisse in a conspiracy to manipulate the world’s largest financial market.
“There have been people in the industry who have done things they weren’t supposed to do, but they haven’t done what the plaintiffs claim,” he said.
The previous settlements followed regulatory investigations that culminated in more than $10 billion in fines for several banks, and convictions or indictments of some merchants.
Some investors including BlackRock Inc (NYSE:) and Allianz (ETR: SE’s Pimco) have chosen to “opt out” of the investor’s lawsuit. Investors usually do this when they hope to get more back by filing a lawsuit themselves.
The case is in Foreign Currency Standard Exchange Rates Case, Antitrust Litigation, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-07789.