August 17, 2017

Three U.S. pension funds sued six major global banks, saying they conspired to block competition in the stock-lending market.

The plaintiffs—Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, Orange County Employees Retirement System and Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement System—allege in a complaint seeking class-action status that the banks have been acting together since 2009. The suit was filed Wednesday in federal district court for the Southern District of New York.

The lawsuit is the latest effort by pension-fund plaintiffs and private lawyers to extract penalties from banks for alleged wrongdoing including anticompetitive actions.

The banks named as defendants in the lawsuit are Bank of America Corp., Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley & Co. and UBS Group AG. Representatives for Credit Suisse, Goldman, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. The other banks didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

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Plaintiff lawyers working on the stock-lending lawsuit are Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP. The firms were also co-lead counsel in a lawsuit alleging banks manipulated the interest-rate swaps market. That case is ongoing.

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