Bloomberg News

HSBC Dropped From Lawsuit Alleging Silver Futures Manipulation

September 15, 2011

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings PLC is no longer a defendant in a lawsuit by investors who claimed the bank and JPMorgan Chase & Co. manipulated silver futures and options prices in violation of U.S. antitrust law.

The investors said in consolidated class action complaint filed yesterday that they had signed a tolling agreement with HSBC and weren’t naming the bank as a defendant. Tolling agreements are often used to stop statutes of limitation from running while the parties discuss settlement or dismissal of a claim.

The investors claim that, starting in March 2008, the banks colluded to suppress silver futures so that call options, or the right to buy, would decline, and put options for the right to sell would increase, according to the complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission began probing allegations of price manipulation in the silver futures market in September 2008.

Investors seek to represent a class of thousands of people and companies that held or traded silver futures and options on June 26, 2007, or from March 17, 2008, to Oct. 27, 2010.

A call to London-based HSBC seeking comment on the matter after regular business hours yesterday wasn’t immediately returned. Joseph Evangelisti, a spokesman for New York-based JPMorgan Chase, declined to comment.

The case is31 In re Commodity Exchange Inc. Silver Futures and Options Trading Litigation, 11-cv-2213, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

--Editor: Mary Romano

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in New York at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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