Deutsche Bank reaches $170 million Euribor-rigging settlement

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank AG DBKGn.DE will pay $170 million to settle an investor lawsuit claiming it conspired with other banks to manipulate the benchmark European Interbank Offered Rate and related derivatives.

Pedestrians are reflected in a window as they walk in front of the headquarters of Deutsche Bank AG in Frankfurt September 5, 2011. REUTERS/Alex Domanski/File Photo

A preliminary settlement was filed on Monday with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and requires a judge’s approval.

It follows similar settlements with Barclays Plc BARC.L and HSBC Holdings Plc HSBA.L for a respective $94 million and $45 million, which have won preliminary court approval.

Euribor is the euro-denominated equivalent of Libor, a benchmark for setting rates on hundreds of trillions of dollars of credit cards, student loans, mortgages and other debt.

Investors accused banks of conspiring to rig Euribor and fix prices of Euribor-based derivatives from June 2005 to March 2011 to profit at their expense, in violation of U.S. antitrust law.

Deutsche Bank did not admit wrongdoing and settled to avoid the cost and distraction of more litigation, court papers show.

The German bank’s legal bills have topped 15 billion euros ($16.8 billion) since 2009.

A spokesman, Troy Gravitt, declined to comment. Vincent Briganti, a lawyer for the investors, also declined to comment.

The case against Deutsche Bank had been put on hold in January, pending the submission of settlement papers.

Among the plaintiffs were the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), and Greenwich, Connecticut-based FrontPoint Australian Opportunities Trust.

In February, U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan, who oversees the litigation, dismissed most of the investors’ claims against several other banks.

In April, he refused to let the investors amend their lawsuit for a fifth time.

Regulators have imposed more than $4 billion in penalties against various banks for alleged manipulation, Castel has said.

Many lawsuits in the Manhattan court seek to hold banks liable for alleged rigging in interest rate, commodity, currency and other financial markets. The case is Sullivan et al v. Barclays Plc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-02811.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler