A federal judge has dismissed nearly all claims against Bank of America and other major banks accused of rigging the interest rate commonly referred to as Libor.
U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, of the Southern District of New York, issued the ruling Friday afternoon.
Buchwald dismissed all of the antitrust and racketeering claims made against the banks. The ruling affects all litigation involving Libor, including lawsuits that have been filed by Freddie Mac and municipalities, like the city of Baltimore. The antitrust and racketeering claims were dismissed with prejudice, meaning the plaintiffs can’t appeal.
The judge allowed some market-manipulation claims made under the Commodity Exchange Act to continue. But some were dismissed because of a statute of limitations.
The banks, which also included JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, were accused of manipulating the London interbank offered rate, an interest rate that banks are charged to borrow money from one another in the London interbank market. Government mortgage giant Freddie Mac said it suffered major losses because of the alleged rigging.
“Regardless of whether defendants’ conduct constituted a violation of the antitrust laws, plaintiffs may not bring suit unless they have suffered an ‘antitrust injury,’ ” the judge wrote, adding that those suing did not claim such an injury. Because of that, the antitrust claims were being dismissed, the judge said.
The judge said some commodities-manipulation claims stem from contracts that date to 2007 and 2008 and are barred because of a statute of limitations. Claims from contracts from April 2009 “may or may not be barred.” The judge did not dismiss them.
Lawrence Grayson, a Bank of America spokesman, said Friday that the bank is reviewing the ruling and did not have immediate comment.
Freddie Mac could not immediately be reached.
Roberts: 704-358-5248 Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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