JPMorgan, Barclays to Pay $20.7M to Settle Bond-Rigging Claims

JPMorgan JPM and Barclays PLC BCS have been asked to pay a total of $20.7 million in order to settle claims by investors that the banks colluded to manipulate the Mexican government bond market. The news was reported by Reuters.

Along with JPMorgan and Barclays, seven other banks have been accused of wrongdoing. However, JPMorgan and Barclays are among the first of the nine banks to settle the proposed class-action lawsuit.

Notably, JPMorgan will pay $15 million, while Barclays is paying $5.7 million. However, while agreeing to settle the claims, both banks denied wrongdoing.

In the filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday, lawyers for the investors said that the “ice breaker” settlements could act as a catalyst for settlements with the other defendants.

The other defendants are affiliates of Banco Santander, S.A., Bank of America BAC, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., Citigroup C, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft, HSBC Holdings plc and UBS Group AG.

Investors led by several pension funds accused the above-mentioned companies of operating as a “cartel” between January 2006 and April 2017 by sharing prices and other transaction data in a move to boost their profit at the expense of the investors.

Notably, the private hearing began after the antitrust regulator in Mexico, the Federal Economic Competition Commission (“COFECE”), initiated an inquiry into a possible conspiracy.

Last September, U.S. District Judge, Paul Oetken, dismissed the lawsuit against the banks and asked investors to amend their complaint. Now, the $20.7-million settlement requires his approval.

Currently, both JPMorgan and Barclays carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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