November 16, 2017

Public pension funds and insurers join forces with claim about access to electronic trading venues.

A group of 17 US public pension funds and insurers have filed a lawsuit in New York alleging that their access to some electronic trading venues in the world’s biggest government bond market was blocked by a group of banks.

The new case, brought by investors such as the American Federation of Teachers, the Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund and the Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, marks an escalation in a two-year battle between banks and their clients over access to the best available prices in the $14tn US Treasury market.

This lawsuit will be added to a series of revised class action suits that accuses 10 banks of colluding to fix the price at which new US government securities were sold, harming investors. The banks include JPMorgan, Barclays, UBS, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

The suit filed late in New York on Wednesday alleges that a smaller group of seven banks, including JPMorgan, Barclays, Citi and Goldman Sachs, joined forces to prevent large institutional investors from seeing the best prices on venues such as the bank-supported Tradeweb or Nex Group’s BrokerTec.

Federal courts appointed Quinn Emanuel, Cohen Milstein and Labaton Sucharow as co-lead counsel on the case in August following a string of cases alleging auction manipulation over the summer of 2015.

The full article can be viewed here.