Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc and Credit Suisse Group AG were among the banks sued by an investor over alleged manipulation of the Libor benchmark interest rate.
The investor, 33-35 Green Pond Road Associates LLC, bought an interest rate swap with a floating rate tied to the U.S.- dollar Libor, it said in a complaint filed today in federal court in Manhattan. Green Pond Road seeks to represent a class of investors that bought U.S. dollar Libor-based derivatives beginning on Aug. 1, 2007.
Green Pond Road claims the banks illegally colluded to fix Libor, injuring investors in securities based on the rate. The suit seeks unspecified damages, which could be tripled under U.S. antitrust law.
Libor is the most widely used benchmark for setting values on about $360 trillion in financial products, with the rate being fixed each morning by the British Bankers’ Association.
U.S. prosecutors are preparing to file charges later this year against traders from several banks involved in a bid-rigging scheme to manipulate Libor rates, according to a person familiar with the case, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.
Lawrence Grayson, a spokesman for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America, declined to immediately comment on the complaint. Steven Vames, a spokesman for Zurich-based Credit Suisse, didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment on the lawsuit. A call to the press office of London-based Barclays after regular business hours in the U.K. wasn’t immediately returned.
The case is 33-35 Green Pond Road Associates v. Bank of America, 12-cv-05822, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).