NY Court sides with UBS on issue about Forex fine data production
Judge Lorna G. Schofield of the New York Southern District Court has quashed an attempt by the plaintiffs in a Forex benchmark rate fixing case to force UBS AG to produce additional information about its communications with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding FX fines.
As FX News Group has reported, some of the communications related to fines imposed on major banks, including UBS AG, back in May 2015, are now sought as a part of the discovery in an FX benchmark rate fixing lawsuit. The case targets a number of leading international banks, including Chase, Barclays, and UBS. In this case, a putative class of consumers and end-user businesses allege that they paid inflated Forex rates caused by an alleged conspiracy among the defendant banks to fix prices of FX benchmark rates in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. sec. 1 et seq.
The plaintiffs insist that they are due documents showing the “methodology” used by the DOJ to calculate the defendants’ fines. According to the plaintiffs, the banks also have to produce documents showing the “overlapping financial sanctions imposed by other regulatory and enforcement entities” argued by each defendant to minimize the DOJ fines. The same goes for defendants’ notes or memoranda reflecting communications with the US Government.
Some of the banks, including UBS, have disclosed the existence of notes, the plaintiffs say. To the extent that these notes record, in sum or substance, or reflect what the DOJ gave or said to the defendants and what the defendants gave or said to the DOJ, they must be produced, according to the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs insist that any efforts by the defendant banks to reduce the fines imposed upon them by other agencies for price-fixing in FX must be revealed if they were communicated to the DOJ.
UBS, however, has refused to produce documents concerning communications about fines paid to other Government agencies.
According to the plaintiffs, there are elements that “the Court overlooked and misapprehended with regard to the FX violations of UBS”.
But the Court disagrees with the plaintiffs in this case. An order made available to FNG today says that the Motion to Compel by the plaintiffs is denied. That is, the plaintiffs’ request that the Court compel UBS “to produce all of the communications between themselves and the DOJ” is nixed.
The Judge notes that the motion is construed as a motion for reconsideration. It is further ordered that, the plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration is denied as the plaintiffs have not identified “an intervening change of controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent manifest injustice,” which would require the Court to reconsider its ruling.