Deutsche Bank to pay $38 million in U.S. silver price-fixing case

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 09:  People walk past a branch of Deutsche Bank on February 9, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Shares of Deutsche Bank rose 16% on the Frankfurt stock exchange on February 10 following rumours the bank may announce a bond buy-back initiative.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 09: People walk past a branch of Deutsche Bank on February 9, 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Shares of Deutsche Bank rose 16% on the Frankfurt stock exchange on February 10 following rumours the bank may announce a bond buy-back initiative. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay $38 million to settle U.S. litigation over allegations that the Bank has been illegally conspiring with other banks to fix the prices of silver at the expense of investors, according to court papers.

Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay investors $38 million in order to settle a litigation over allegations that Deutsche and several other banks have been conspiring to fix the prices of silver in the commodities market at the expense of the investors. In the litigation, investors claimed Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings Plc  and Bank of Nova Scotia (ScotiaBank) rigged silver prices through a secret daily meeting called the Silver Fix, and accused UBS AG of exploiting that fix.

The alleged conspiracy started by 1999, suppressed prices on roughly $30 billion of silver and silver financial instruments traded each year, and enabled the banks to pocket returns that could top 100 percent annualized, the investors said.

The settlement, disclosed in papers filed in Manhattan federal court, came in one of many recent lawsuits in which investors have accused banks of conspiring to rig rates and prices in financial and commodities markets. The settlement had been expected since April, though terms had yet to be disclosed. In court papers, lawyers for the investors say the deal will likely be an “ice breaker” that will serve as a catalyst for other banks to settle.

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