Dismissal Granted for U.S. Silver Price-Fixing Lawsuit Against Banks

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Monday excused long-showing case to financial backers who blamed HSBC Property Plc and Bank for Nova Scotia of planning to fix silver costs.

U.S. Locale Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan said the financial backers needed legitimate remaining to seek after government antitrust cases under the Sherman Act, or cases under the bureaucratic Item Trade Act.

Investors had stated that they had “smoking gun” evidence of a price-fixing conspiracy between these banks and several other silver market makers, and they had accused HSBC, Scotiabank, and Deutsche Bank AG of manipulating silver prices from 2007 to 2013.

The litigation began in 2014, and two years later, Deutsche Bank reached a $38 million settlement.

Investors were unable to attribute their losses to banks’ alleged effort to depress the Fix, which sets benchmark prices for silver bars and trades derivatives based on advance knowledge of the Fix price, according to Caproni’s 24-page decision.

Caproni said the financial backers didn’t show it was “conceivable, rather than just conceivable” that misshaped estimating impacted their exchanges, and said any harms were “excessively speculative.”

In addition, in contrast to individuals who might have sold silver at the Fix price, the judge stated that the investors were not “efficient enforcers” of their private antitrust claims.

Investors’ attorneys did not immediately respond to inquiries for clarification. Similar requests were not immediately answered by the banks and their lawyers.

The lawsuit was dismissed by Caproni without prejudice, meaning that it cannot be brought back.

She had allowed the case to move forward in 2016, but she said that recent decisions by the federal appeals court in Manhattan have made it clear when private plaintiffs can bring claims under the antitrust and commodities act.

In re London Silver Fixing Ltd. Antitrust Litigation, Southern District of New York, No. 14-md-02573.

Source – USNews

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