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Deutsche Bank Pays $5 Million to Exit Libor Antitrust Lawsuit

Aug. 1, 2022, 4:59 PM

Deutsche Bank AG will pay $5 million to resolve antitrust litigation over its alleged role in a scheme by top global banks to manipulate the Sterling Libor, a key interest benchmark for financial instruments denominated in British pounds, according to federal court filings in Manhattan.

Derivative traders leading the lawsuit sought preliminary approval for the deal from Judge Vernon S. Broderick, who’s presiding over the proposed class action consolidated in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The settlement also requires Deutsche Bank to cooperate with the case.

The lawsuit, filed in 2015, is part of a wave of related class actions seeking to recover Libor rate rigging damages on behalf of individual and institutional investors, including municipalities and pension funds. The Sterling Libor suit targeted members of the 16-bank panel that set the benchmark.

Broderick dismissed most of the case in 2018, except for limited claims against UBS AG, the sole bank that specifically transacted with any of the named plaintiffs. The judge rejected allegations that the broader conspiracy caused marketwide harm to anyone trading the relevant derivatives.

UBS and the traders separately asked the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to review the case. The cross-appeals are still pending.

Lovell Stewart Halebian Jacobson LLP and Lowey Dannenberg PC are lead counsel for the traders. Deutsche Bank is represented by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

The case is Sonterra Capital Master Fund Ltd. v. Barclays Bank Plc, S.D.N.Y., No. 15-cv-3538, motion for preliminary settlement approval filed 7/29/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Leonard in Washington at mleonard@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com; Andrew Harris at aharris@bloomberglaw.com