May 21, 2015 / 9:26 PM / 3 years ago

Rabobank faces lawsuit over interest rate swaps

AMSTERDAM, May 21 (Reuters) - A Dutch organisation seeking to sue banks for losses on interest rate swap products on behalf of members said on Thursday it had filed a complaint against cooperative bank Rabobank and would seek 800 million euros (US$890 million) in damages.

Tax attorney Pieter Lijesen of the Interest Rate Swap Damage Relief Institute said in a statement he was representing 500 business customers who purchased interest rate swaps from Rabobank in the 2005-2011 period.

Lijesen said his clients had not been fully informed of the potential risks of the products they purchased and suffered large losses as a result.

Lawyer Berth Brouwer said on Thursday that the lawsuit had been filed at the District Court of Den Bosch.

Rabobank spokeswoman Marie-Christine Reusken said in an emailed response that the bank was aware of the lawsuit.

“The bank enters discussions with every client with a complaint over an ongoing interest derivative to decide if there is a problem and how we can resolve it,” she said. “This case by case approach is supported by the AFM,” or Dutch financial markets regulator.

Last year the AFM criticised the country’s banks for selling some business customers swap products that were unsuitable and called on the banks to offer those customers a settlement.

In 2013, Rabobank was fined 774 million euros by regulators in the United States, Britain and the Netherlands for attempting to manipulate Libor and Euribor lending rates from 2005-2011.

$1=0.8999 euros Reporting By Toby Sterling; Editing by Greg Mahlich, Bernard Orr

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