Judge dismisses investor claims that Citi, Barclays, and 7 other big banks colluded to rig a $9 trillion bond market

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Banks are off the hook on allegations that they colluded to rig a $9 trillion bond market.

  • A US judge has dismissed claims by investors that nine big banks colluded to rig the $9 trillion government agency bond market from 2005 to 2015
  • The judge said investors failed to show they were harmed by any transactions tainted by the alleged collusion.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge has dismissed an antitrust lawsuit by investors that accused nine big banks of rigging the roughly $9 trillion government agency bond market from 2005 to 2015.

In a decision made public on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos in Manhattan said the investors failed to show they were injured by conducting any specific transactions in U.S. dollar-denominated supranational, sub-sovereign and agency bonds that were tainted by the alleged collusion.Advertisement

Investors led by the Iron Workers Pension Plan of Western Pennsylvania and the Sheet Metal Workers Pension Plan of Northern California said the banks used chatrooms and other means to share pricing data and coordinate trading to boost profit, infecting "each and every" transaction.

The defendants included Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc, Credit Agricole SA, Credit Suisse Group AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, Nomura Holdings Inc, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Dan Brockett, a lawyer for the investors, said his clients plan to amend their complaint.

He also said Ramos' decision, which is dated Aug. 24, does not affect Deutsche Bank AG's and Bank of America Corp's respective $48.5 million and $17 million settlements in the case in August 2017.

Ramos preliminarily approved those settlements in March.The federal court in Manhattan is home to a wide array of private litigation accusing banks of conspiring to rig various financial markets, interest rate benchmarks and commodities.Advertisement

The case is In re: SSA Bonds Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-03711.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)