In re SSA Bonds Antitrust Litigation

Updated: October 25, 2016
Status: Ongoing Case
On May 18, 2016, Labaton Sucharow and Hausfeld LLP, on behalf of Boston Retirement System, jointly filed the first nationwide class action alleging a global conspiracy between 2005 and 2014 to manipulate trading in supranational, sub-sovereign, and agency bonds (SSA bonds). Named defendants include some of the world’s largest dealer banks—Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Crédit Agricole, and Nomura International. SSA bonds are debt instruments issued by a sovereign country’s political subdivisions and administrative bodies used to fund critical government operations.

The plaintiff alleges that traders at the dealer banks exchanged confidential information about their customers’ identities, trading habits, and order sizes, which enabled them to collude to fix bid and ask spreads offered to customers in the secondary market—most of which are state and local governments, institutional and individual investors, pension funds, mutual funds, hedge funds, and insurance companies.

The defendants’ conduct in the SSA bond market has also caught the attention of antitrust enforcement agencies worldwide. In December 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into London-based traders of SSA bonds. Additional probes by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and the European Commission soon followed.

The case is SSA Bonds Manipulation Antitrust Litigation, 1:16-cv-03711, (S.D.N.Y.). The plaintiff is Boston Retirement System. The defendants are Credit Agricole SA, Credit Suisse Group AG and Nomura Holdings Inc.