Oct 14 Litigation alleging that Deutsche Bank AG
, Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC Plc
illegally fixed the price of silver has been
centralized in Manhattan federal court.
Lawsuits filed by investors since July over the alleged
price-fixing were consolidated on Tuesday in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York, following an order
issued last Thursday by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation, a special body of federal judges that decides when
and where to consolidate related lawsuits.
The panel ruled that the cases should be handled by U.S.
District Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan, who is already
overseeing similar litigation over alleged gold price-fixing.
Three suits were originally filed in Manhattan, while two
were filed in Brooklyn. The plaintiffs in the Brooklyn suits had
sought to have the litigation consolidated there.
The banks had also asked that the litigation be consolidated
in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, but the
multidistrict litigation panel said Manhattan made more sense
because the defendants all had corporate offices there and
because the cases involved issues similar to the gold
The plaintiffs allege that the banks abused their power as
participants in the silver fix, a London-based benchmark pricing
method dating back to the Victorian era, in which banks set
silver prices once a day by phone. In August, the system was
replaced by a new benchmark system administered by the Chicago
Mercantile Exchange and Thomson Reuters.
HSBC spokesman Neil Brazil declined to comment.
Representatives of the other banks did not immediately
respond to requests for comment.
The case is In re London Silver Fixing Ltd Antitrust
Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York,
(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; editing by Alexia
Garamfalvi and Matthew Lewis)