NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lawyers for investors accusing several major banks of conspiring to rig silver prices are seeking to add five new defendants to the case, based what they call “smoking gun” evidence they obtained from Deutsche Bank AG following a settlement.
In papers filed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, the lawyers sought to revive previously-dismissed claims against UBS AG (UBSG.S) and add Barclays Plc (BARC.L), BNP Paribas SA (BNPP.PA), Standard Chartered Plc (STAN.L) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) as defendants.
The newly cited evidence was produced by Deutsche Bank after it reached a $38 million settlement in the case earlier this year. The plaintiffs said the evidence showed the new defendants engaged in collusive price manipulation.
UBS said in a statement that it believed the plaintiffs’ claims had “no merit.” Representatives for the other banks either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment.
In their proposed revised complaint, the investors claim Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA.L), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) and others rigged prices of silver and silver financial instruments through a secret daily meeting called the Silver Fix.
The plaintiffs, who are seeking court permission to file the revised complaint, said more than 350,000 pages of documents and 75 audio tapes that Deutsche Bank produced, including electronic chats involving silver traders, backed up their claims.
In October, U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni dismissed UBS from the case, saying there was nothing showing it manipulated prices, even if it benefited from distortions. But she allowed the investors to file a revised lawsuit against UBS.
The plaintiffs in Wednesday’s filing said the Deutsche Bank evidence showed UBS was a “major participant” in the scheme to manipulate prices and that two of its traders communicated directly with two Deutsche Bank traders.
The case is In re: London Silver Fixing Ltd Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 14-md-02573.
Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn