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Major banks oppose class certification in stock loan collusion lawsuit

Businessman Holding money US dollar bills on digital stock market financial exchange information and Trading graph background, Bank antitrust stock loan concept(Photo Credit: Joyseulay/Shutterstock)

Major banks stock loan market collusion class action lawsuit overview:

  • Who: JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, UBS and stock loan platform EquiLend filed an objection to a judge’s decision to certify a class of investors who filed a class action lawsuit against them.
  • Why: The investors argue the major banks colluded to kill competition in the stock loan market.
  • Where: The bank class action lawsuit was filed in the New York federal court.

A group of major banks filed an objection to a New York federal judge’s decision to certify a proposed class of investors claiming the banks colluded to squash competition in the stock loan market.

Banks JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and UBS, along with stock loan platform EquiLend, argue US Magistrate Judge Sarah L. Cave “abrogated the court’s responsibility to rigorously analyze the evidence.”

In their objection, the major banks claim that the decision to certify the proposed class of investors should be reversed and that the investors class certification motion should be denied.

Judge Cave previously called for the partial certification of the proposed class of investors, determining that the proposed class had met all of the necessary requirements, Law360 reports.

Bank class action in limbo as defendants say they plan to argue specific claims

Meanwhile, the banks argue they plan to present individualized evidence when the complaint goes to trial that will predominate over a class complaint, according to the bank class action objection.

Specifically, the banks say they plan to show that specific class members were not harmed by their allegations that the financial institutions had colluded to kill competition in the market for stock loans.

The banks further disagreed with Judge Cave’s ruling that they are not allowed to dispute whether or not an investor would have chosen to join a platform had it not been for their alleged conduct.

“That was error,” the banks say in their objection. “Where, as here, defendants can make plausible showings that individual class members were unharmed, defendants have a constitutional right to make those showings at trial.”

A group of public pension funds originally filed the bank class action lawsuit in 2017, arguing they had colluded to boycott startup electronic platforms and used EquiLend, which the banks jointly control, to buy up and shut down the competition.

Do you believe the major banks colluded to squash competition in the stock loan market? Let us know in the comments!

The plaintiffs are represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

the bank class action lawsuit is Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al., case no. 1:17-cv-06221, in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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