JPMorgan is suing Berlin's public transport provider in a British court to recover the $204m plus interest it says it is owed over an 'unfortunate' derivatives contract taken out before the financial crisis.
'Rather than simply accepting that it had been unfortunate in the events that happened in the financial markets... BVG has decided to follow a course doing everything it could to avoid paying its debts... casting around for someone to blame other than itself,' Laurence Rabinowitz told a London court on the first day of the trial.
Problems arose simply because the transaction occurred just when serious cracks in the world's financial system were appearing, Rabinowitz added.
BVG, which runs the German capital's underground railway, tram, bus and ferry networks, argues that it was misled by JPMorgan and the bank's law firm, Clifford Chance, and that it did not fully understand the risks involved. BVG is due to begin its defence on Tuesday.
Clifford Chance said in a statement the 'claims against us are misconceived and entirely without merit.'
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