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JPMorgan Reaches Tentative Settlement in AFTRA Pension Suit

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. reached an “agreement in principal” to settle a class action suit claiming losses from the bank’s securities lending program.

The suit was filed by three union pension funds, which represented a class of all investors in a group of structured debt securities. The settlement was to be announced on the plaintiffs’ website, according to a statement provided today by Stephanie Cirkovich, a spokeswoman for the federal court in Manhattan.

“The parties are drafting a formal settlement agreement, to be submitted to the court for approval within approximately three weeks,” according to the statement. “The settlement terms will remain confidential until the agreement is submitted to the court. The settlement is subject to the court’s approval and to certain other conditions.”

The funds claim they lost money that New York-based JPMorgan invested for them in medium-term notes issued by Sigma Finance Corp., a structured investment vehicle that collapsed in 2008.

The union pension funds representing the class are the AFTRA Retirement Fund, the Imperial County Employees’ Retirement System and the Investment Committee of the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating System.

John Johmann, a JPMorgan Chase spokesman, didn’t return a message seeking comment on the announced settlement.

The case is Board of Trustees of the AFTRA Retirement Fund v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, 09-cv-686, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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