Credit Suisse currency rigging allegations go to US jury By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland October 4, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

By Jody Godoy

(Reuters) – A U.S. jury began deliberating on Wednesday in a civil trial in which Credit Suisse Group AG is accused of conspiring with the world’s biggest banks to rig prices in the foreign exchange market between 2007 and 2013 Credit Suisse is the last remaining defendant bank in the class action lawsuit brought by forex investors in 2013, after 15 others reached settlements worth $2.31 billion. Investors allege Credit Suisse traders shared non-public pricing information with traders at other banks.

During the trial in Manhattan federal court that began Oct. 11, jurors heard testimony that five banks and two traders pleaded guilty to forex-related antitrust conspiracies, and saw chat room transcripts with names such as “The Cartel” where investors say traders have colluded.

The jury will decide whether Credit Suisse participated in a conspiracy or multiple conspiracies to rig the currency market, and if so, how long each scheme lasted and which of the other 15 banks was involved.

While the jury won’t determine how a conspiracy affected market participants or award class-wide damages, its findings can be used by investors in their own lawsuits against the bank.

The jury will resume its deliberations on Thursday.

Christopher Burke, an attorney for the investors, urged jurors during closing arguments on Wednesday to find that the bank had engaged in a single conspiracy with fifteen banks over six years.

“There was a culture of collusion at Credit Suisse,” he said, adding that chat room transcripts show traders at the bank sharing information about the spread between the buy and sell price. sale of currencies “every other day”.

Credit Suisse lawyer Herbert Washer argued that traders discussing in separate rooms different currency pairs could not be part of the same conspiracy and that there was no evidence that Credit Suisse traders have ever acted on cats.

“Where’s the proof that it was more than a speech?” he said.

The first settlements in the case followed regulatory investigations that resulted in more than $10 billion in fines for several banks and the conviction or indictment of some traders. The case is In Re Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, US District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-07789.

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