HSBC, UBS settle US rate-rigging litigation; total payout tops S$560 million

The company's logo is seen at a branch of Swiss bank UBS in Zurich, Switzerland, in this Feb 2, 2016 file photo.
The company's logo is seen at a branch of Swiss bank UBS in Zurich, Switzerland, in this Feb 2, 2016 file photo.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - HSBC Holdings Plc and UBS Group AG have each agreed to pay US$14 million (S$19 million) to settle private US litigation accusing them of rigging an interest rate benchmark used in the US$483 trillion derivatives market.

The preliminary settlements were disclosed in filings on Tuesday (July 11) in the US District Court in Manhattan, and require a judge's approval.

They boost the total payout from 10 settling banks to US$408.5m (S$564m). HSBC and UBS denied wrongdoing.

Several pension funds and municipalities had accused 14 banks of conspiring to rig the ISDAfix benchmark for their own gain from at least 2009 to 2012.

Companies and investors use ISDAfix to price swaps transactions, commercial real estate mortgages and structured debt securities.

The eight earlier settlements have won preliminary approval, and include payouts of US$56.5 million from Goldman Sachs Group Inc and US$52 million from JPMorgan Chase & Co, court papers show.

BNP Paribas SA, Morgan Stanley, Nomura Holdings Inc and Wells Fargo & Co have not settled, the papers show.

The private litigation is among many lawsuits in the Manhattan court accusing banks of conspiring to rig rate benchmarks, securities prices or commodities prices.