Maurice Blackburn has launched a class action against UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan, Citibank and Barclays in relation to alleged illegal cartel conduct in the foreign exchange market in the period 1 January 2008 to 15 October 2013.
Am I eligible to join this class action?
You're eligible to register if, during the period 1 January 2008 to 15 October 2013, you were party to foreign exchange transactions*:
- which were arranged in Australia, either because you were located in Australia (either directly or indirectly through an agent) or because the bank or financial institution that you arranged them through was located in Australia; and
- the total value of your transactions in the affected currency pairs during this period exceeded AUD $500,000.
* Foreign exchange transactions means FX spot transactions and FX forward trades. Please note that this class action does not include any potential losses related to FX swaps, FX options, FX futures contracts, options on FX futures contracts, and any other instruments traded in the FX market.
The alleged cartel conduct caused loss to foreign exchange customers in Australia throughout the period 1 January 2008 and 15 October 2013 by artificially increasing the cost of buying certain currencies and artificially decreasing the price received when selling certain currencies. You are likely to have been affected by this conduct if, throughout the period 1 January 2008 to 15 October 2013, you were party to foreign exchange transactions that involved one or more of the currencies listed below.
Affected Currency Pairs means the Australian dollar (AUD), British pound (GBP), Euro (EUR), Japanese yen (JPY), New Zealand dollar (NZD) or the US dollar (USD) paired with another currency from any of the following:
- Australian dollar (AUD)
- Brazilian real (BRL)
- British pound (GBP)
- Canadian dollar (CAD)
- Chinese yuan (CNY)
- Czech koruna (CZK)
- Euro (EUR)
- Hong Kong dollar (HKD)
- Hungarian forint (HUF)
- Indian rupee (INR)
- Indonesian rupiah (IDR)
- Israeli shekel (ILS)
- Japanese yen (JPY)
- Malaysian ringgits (MYR)
- Mexican peso (MXN)
- New Zealand dollar (NZD)
- Norwegian krone (NOK)
- Polish zloty (PLN)
- Romanian leu (RON)
- Russian ruble (RUB)
- Singapore dollar (SGD)
- South African rand (ZAR)
- South Korean won (KRW)
- Swedish krona (SEK)
- Swiss Franc (CHF)
- Taiwan dollar (TWD)
- Thai baht (THB)
- Turkish lira (TRY)
- U.S. dollar (USD)
About this class action
Since June 2013, there has been a growing body of evidence that foreign exchange traders at a number of large banks systematically manipulated foreign exchange rates for certain currency pairs throughout the period 1 January 2008 to 15 October 2013.
The alleged cartel conduct has been the subject of extensive regulatory and private enforcement action, including class actions in the United States of America and Canada. Settlements in the United States and Canadian class actions have so far resulted in the payment of over USD $2.3 billion and CAD $107 million, respectively.
Frequently asked questions
On 27 May 2019 Maurice Blackburn issued the Australian Foreign Exchange Cartel Class Action in the Federal Court of Australia.
The Applicant filed its amended claim documents on 19 November 2021 and the Respondent banks filed their defences on 25 March 2022.
The proceeding is now in the discovery stage and a case management hearing is scheduled to take place on 23 October 2023.
Yes - you do not need to have engaged in FX transactions directly with the respondents in order to register in the FX class action.
The alleged cartel conduct caused loss by artificially increasing the cost of buying certain currencies and artificially decreasing the price received when selling certain currencies. This affected currency prices in the market regardless of whether you bought from one of the respondents or any other financial provider/ bank.
The claim only relates to FX spot trades and FX forward trades. The following transactions are not recoverable in the Australian class action: FX swaps, FX options, FX futures contracts, options on FX futures contracts, and other instruments traded in the FX Market.
At this stage, we do not require claimants to provide us with any foreign exchange transaction data. We will likely make requests for data as the matter progresses, but we will discuss this with claimants as the need arises.
For the moment, we simply ask that claimants retain and not destroy (and ask any third parties/ custodians who may hold such records to retain and not destroy) any FX transaction data and records that they have for the period 1 January 2008 to 15 October 2013.
Registration will not expose you to any out of pocket costs. Unless and until there is a successful outcome, all costs will be borne by Maurice Blackburn. There is no litigation funder involved in the FX class action.
In the event of a successful outcome, any costs payable to Maurice Blackburn will be deducted from, and will not exceed, any compensation that you are entitled to receive.
Yes - foreign entities which are not domiciled in the US and Canada, that arranged foreign exchange transactions in Australia (i.e. through an Australian sales desk or broker or where the trade was otherwise effected in Australia) are eligible to register.
We note that due to the claims made and settlements reached in the US and Canada, entities which are domiciled in the US and Canada are precluded from registering in the Australian FX class action.
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