The Class Action Case Files
Portfolio monitoring and asset recovery of growing global securities class actions can be daunting. Broadridge can help simplify the complex.
Just the Facts
The Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR) is the benchmark interest rate used for lending between banks in the Asian market, set daily by the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS). In this action, a consortium of 19 multinational financial institutions allegedly conspired to manipulate SIBOR and the Singapore Swap Offer Rate (SOR) in violation of the Sherman Act – for example, by submitting inaccurate costs of borrowing funds in the Singapore Market, causing U.S. investors to be either overcharged or underpaid in SIBOR and/or SOR-based derivative transactions.
||Fund Liquidation Holdings LLC. v. Citibank, N.A. (1:16-cv-5263)
||January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2011
||SIBOR and/or SOR-based derivatives
||United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
||Lowey Dannenberg P.C.
||Fund Liquidation Holdings LLC, Moon Capital Partners Master Fund Ltd., and Moon Capital Master Fund Ltd.
|Initial Complaint Filed
||July 1, 2016
||June 9, 2022
||November 29, 2022
|Claim Filing Deadline
||January 20, 2023 (extended)
Defendants allegedly profited at the expense of their U.S. counterparties by working on SIBOR and/or SOR-derivative positions around the clock with the help of their international traders in New York, London, Singapore, and other global financial centers. Defendants’ employees allegedly transferred their “trading books” to keep the operation running 24-hours a day.
The alleged conspiracy came to light in 2013 after the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) uncovered communications evidencing the collusion involving at least 133 traders employed by the defendants. After several inquires and investigations, the defendants were made to deposit $9.6 billion with MAS along with additional penalties and remedial measures. Several defendants also faced fines and penalties in the U.S. by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and U.K.’s Financial Services Authority.
A similar settlement was reached in 2020 concerning the manipulation of LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), which is the benchmark interest rate used for interbank short-term loans. In the LIBOR action, individuals and institutions who purchased U.S. Dollar LIBOR-based financial instruments from several global banks between August 2007 and May 2010 were eligible to recover from the aggregate $340 million settlement. The start of 2022 initiated the phase-out of LIBOR entirely.
Investors who transacted in SIBOR and/or SOR-based derivatives, between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2011, have until January 20, 2023, to file their claim.
NUMEROUS ELIGIBLE SECURITIES
Unlike most cases, the settlements here do not involve securities with easily traced security identifiers, rather the settlements involve multiple SIBOR and/or SOR-based derivatives. Further, the volume of SIBOR and SOR-based derivatives traded each year is estimated to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars in notional value. Over a 5-year class period, that can be substantial amount of money, and trades, to account for.
IMPACT: This challenge impacts a variety of areas in the case. First, portfolio monitoring is made more complicated by the size of the searches and resulting data exports. Second, the time required to prepare and file claims can be increased exponentially. Finally, significant quality assurance measures are needed to ensure accuracy and completeness of the data before they can even be filed.
COMPLICATED SECURITY TYPE
The court-approved Distribution Plan covers many complicated security types, such as SIBOR and/or SOR-based interest rate swaps, swaptions, currency forward agreements, forward rate agreements, and/or foreign exchange swaps.
IMPACT: First, portfolio monitoring is complicated by the fact that these instruments do not have CUSIPs. Filers must create one-off procedures to identify and export the data. Second, the claims filing process becomes vastly more complicated because the data is generally in a different format than a normal data extract. Significant work is needed to format and review data before a submission can be filed. Likewise, the opportunity for administrative error increases, and care must be taken to ensure your claims are paid accurately.
FOREIGN DERIVATIVE MARKET
Eligible securities in this case involve SIBOR- and SOR-based derivatives linked to the Singapore Dollar. The alleged manipulation in this antitrust case spreads across traders’ offices in financial centers all over the world, notably, New York, London, and Singapore.
IMPACT: Although the derivatives were sold to U.S. based investors, eligible transactions may be difficult to locate and confirm, requiring a higher-level of review.
UNUSUALLY COMPLICATED LOSS FORMULA
As noted above, this case includes numerous complex security types, and the court-approved Distribution Plan, requires a Transaction Notional Amount to be calculated for each of these instruments. For example, the Transaction Notional Amount for interest rate swaps, forward rate agreements and swaptions is the quotient of the sum of the national values for all interest payments in Singapore Dollar during the class period divided by the number of intertest payment dates in a one year period.
IMPACT: This challenge increases the amount of both time and expertise required to accurately calculate each claim’s recognized loss amount. An incorrect calculation can lead to claims not being filed and will lessen the ability to review and challenge a claims administrator’s determination, if needed.
NOT JUST A PURCHASER CLASS
Most settlements provide asset recovery opportunities to those financial institutions that purchased an eligible security during the class period. Accordingly, longtime holders or class period sellers typically cannot recover. Not so, for the SIBOR Antitrust Litigation. In this case, financial institutions and their clients who purchased, sold, held, traded, or otherwise had any interest in SIBOR and/or SOR-based derivatives products during the class period had significant asset recovery opportunities.
IMPACT: First, portfolio monitoring becomes vastly more complicated, especially when automated scripts are used to look for purchasers. Bespoke processes are needed. Second, special care is needed when preparing claim files to ensure all eligible transactions are pulled. Typically, when all eligible securities were purchased before the class period, no claim would be filed. However, in this case, such an account is eligible and must be filed.
OLD CLASS PERIOD
The class period began on January 1, 2007.
IMPACT: Most financial institutions and individuals typically keep copies of statements, broker confirmations and house data relating to their accounts for 7 years. Here, the class period began 9 years prior to the commencement of this action. Consequently, it may be difficult for class members to (a) provide transaction information beyond 7 years, and (b) provide all required supporting documentation. As a result, class members may miss eligible transactions, negatively impacting their potential recognized loss.
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