In re Interest Rate Swaps Antitrust Litigation

Updated: October 31, 2017
Status: Ongoing Case

Labaton Sucharow serves as class counsel in a class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of interest rate swaps (IR swaps) against several major banks, including Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and UBS. IR swaps are financial instruments used to hedge or speculate on changes in interest rates. Due to their standardization and liquidity, IR swaps were capable of being traded on platforms similar to stock and commodities exchanges.

Major IR swaps dealers—including many of the world’s largest financial institutions such as Barclays, BNP Paribas, Citibank, JPMorgan, and UBS—colluded since at least 2008 to forestall the development of exchange style trading for interest rates swaps by using their market power, collectively, to exclude rivals and new entrants from the marketplace. These “Dealer Bank Defendants,” with the assistance of other entities these defendants controlled, boycotted and collusively targeted a series of new electronic trading platforms that would have allowed direct and/or anonymous comparison-shopping and interest rate swaps execution for the buy-side.

The development of exchange-like platform for executing IR swaps would have delivered significant efficiency benefits and better prices for buy-side investors, which include pension funds, hedge funds, asset managers, and municipalities, while eroding a traditional profit center worth billions per year to the Dealer Bank Defendants.

On December 9, 2016, plaintiffs filed a second consolidated amended complaint against defendants. Motions to dismiss have been fully briefed and argued. A decision on the motions is pending.

The case is In re Interest Rate Swaps Antitrust Litigation, No. 16-md-02704 (S.D.N.Y.). Labaton Sucharow represents Genesee County Employees’ Retirement System. The defendants include Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and UBS.