Deutsche Bank (DB) has agreed to settle a case filed in 2014: In re: London Silver Fixing Ltd., Antitrust Litigation, that alleged that DB conspired to fix the price of silver with the Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings plc and UBS AG.
Under the binding settlement agreement letter, Deutsche Bank has “also agreed to provide cooperation to plaintiffs, including the production of instant messages, and other electronic communications, as part of the settlement. In Plaintiff’s estimation, the cooperation to be provided by Deutsche Bank will substantially assist Plaintiffs in the prosecution of their claims against the non-settling defendants.” (emphasis added)
For years allegations that the precious metals markets were manipulated were met with disdainful comments dismissing the allegations as tin foil hat conspiracy theories. In 2014, conspiracy theory became conspiracy fact when UBS settled allegations that it had rigged the precious metals markets. Indeed, the history of precious metals has been one of incessant government and market manipulations.
The DB settlement should bring to light the scope of the silver manipulation and involvement of the other major banks as DB spills the beans on its co-manipulators.
History of In re: London Silver Fixing Ltd., Antitrust Litigation
January 2014– Following an announcement by Germany’s regulator Bafin that precious metals price manipulation was worse than LIBOR, Deutsche Bank announced its decision to leave the gold and silver price fixing bodies.
May 2014 – the London Silver Fixing Company announced that it would cease operations on August 14, 2014.
The London Silver Fixing Company was established in 1897 and followed an archaic practice whereby three banks, including Barclays PLC, HSBC Holdings PLC and Deutsche Bank set the silver price daily at noon following a conference call by its representatives. It was replaced in August 2014 by an electronic price fixing system established by Thompson Reuters and the CME Group.
August 2014 – The case of Nalven v. The London Silver Market Fixing, Ltd. et al (Nalven) is filed accusing Deutsche Bank, HSBC and The Bank of Nova Scotia of manipulating silver futures since January 1, 2007.
October 2014 – The Nalven case is consolidated with another tag along case, Nicholson v. The Bank of Nova Scotia that also alleged manipulation of the silver market.
June 2015 – DB requests that the case against it be dismissed citing a lack of facts to support the case against them.
August 2015 – DB repeats its request that the case be dismissed arguing that the plaintiff could not prove injury and therefore had no standing to bring their case. The motion was denied.
April 2016 – DB agrees to settle litigation that it conspired to fix the price of silver with co-defendants, Nova Scotia, HSBC Holdings plc and UBS AG. DB agrees to pay an undisclosed fine and to substantially assist in the prosecution of their non-settling co-conspirators.
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