Australia’s CBA and ANZ settle 2016 class action on alleged interest rate rigging

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the ANZ Banking Group is displayed in the window of a branch in central Sydney, Australia, Aprl 30, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

(Reuters) – Australian lenders Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Australia and New Zealand Bank on Monday separately said they had agreed to settle a 2016 class action, filed in the United States against them, for alleged benchmark interest rate rigging.

The suit had been filed by U.S.-based investment funds and an individual derivatives trader against 17 global banks, including ANZ’s three domestic peers that make up the so-called “big four” with it.

Allegations included that the banks were making hundreds of millions of dollars in profits by setting benchmark bank bill swap rates (BBSW) at levels that benefited their trading books, according to the filing.

The country’s largest and fourth largest lenders on Monday said they did not admit liability as part of their settlements, adding that the terms of the settlements were confidential and that they would not materially impact the companies.