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California Cities Sue Banks Over Libor Rates, Law Firm Says

Published: January 10, 2013
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Source: Bloomberg

Eight California counties and public entities sued UBS AG (UBSN), Barclays Plc (BARC) and 20 other banks alleging they lost millions of dollars because the financial institutions manipulated the benchmark Libor rate.

The plaintiffs claim they were cheated out of higher interest payments on investments such as interest-rate swaps and corporate bonds tied to Libor.

Complaints were filed today in federal court in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego on behalf of the counties of San Diego and San Mateo, the city of Riverside and five other entities against 20 current and former banks that set Libor rates, law firm Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy LLP said in an e- mailed statement.

Banks already face 30 lawsuits by U.S. homeowners and other plaintiffs seeking to hold them responsible for alleged manipulation of the rate used as a borrowing-cost benchmark. A class-action lawsuit filed in Manhattan in October by homeowners alleges a conspiracy among financial institutions drove up the cost of mortgage loans.

The lawsuits filed today allege violations of antitrust laws, negligence and unjust enrichment and seek to recover losses and triple damages.

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