Goldman Sachs and HSBC were sued in New York over claims they conspired for eight years to manipulate prices for the precious metals platinum and palladium in what plaintiffs’ lawyers say is the first class-action lawsuit of its kind in the U.S.
Bloomberg News reports that Standard Bank and a metals unit of BASF SE, the world’s largest chemical company, were also sued. The four companies used inside information about client purchases and sale orders to profit from price movements for the metals used in products ranging from jewellery to cars, according to a complaint filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court.
The lawsuit by Modern Settings, a jeweller that buys precious metals and derivatives set on their prices, claims the companies “were privy to and shared confidential, non-public information about client purchase and sale orders that allowed them to glean information about the direction” of prices.
Similar lawsuits have been filed this year in Manhattan accusing banks of rigging the benchmark price for gold. Authorities around the world are examining the gold market for signs of wrongdoing.
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