Madoff trustee loses appeal to pursue billions in bank claims

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The trustee seeking money for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme suffered a big defeat on Thursday, as a federal appeals court said he could not pursue billions of dollars of claims against banks accused of aiding in the fraud.

The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said trustee Irving Picard lacked legal standing to pursue a variety of claims against banks on behalf of customers.

Among the banks that Mr Picard sued were JPMorgan Chase & Co, Britain's HSBC Holdings, Italy's UniCredit and Switzerland's UBS.