Barclays, Bank of America, Citigroup and 10 other banks were accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark used to set rates for interest rate derivatives and other financial instruments.
Bloomberg News reports the Alaska Electrical Pension Fund sued Thursday in Manhattan federal court, claiming the banks colluded to set ISDAfix at artificial levels that allowed them to manipulate payments to investors in the derivatives. The banks’ actions affected trillions of dollars of financial instruments tied to the benchmark, the pension fund said.
The banks communicated using electronic chat rooms and other means of private communication, typically submitting identical rate quotes beginning at least in 2009, the Alaska fund said.
The pension fund is seeking to represent all investors that took part in interest rate derivative transactions tied to ISDAfix from January 2006 to January 2014. It’s seeking unspecified damages, which may be tripled under U.S. antitrust law.
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