For many years precious metal commodity investors have screamed over certain price movements.
Then came the convictions and penalties for the banks involved in the Libor rigging scandal, which gave the gold and silver trades some ammo for their own challenge.
In 2014, precious metal future traders sued a group of banks including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Bank of Nova Scotia and UBS alleging they unlawfully manipulated the price of gold and silver and its derivatives in a number of federal civil suits.
Investors accused the banks of abusing their power as three of the world’s largest silver and gold bullion banks to dictate the price of the precious metals through a secret, once-a-day meeting known as the Silver Fix and Gold Fix.
No one involved thought the case had much of a chance — despite getting class-action status last year.
Yet this week, Deutsche Bank agreed to settle US litigation over the allegations that it illegally conspired with others to fix precious metal prices at the expense of investors, according to a court filing.
Although terms were not disclosed, Deutsche will include a monetary payment to the class, a letter filed in Manhattan federal court by lawyers for the investors said.
Deutsche has signed a binding settlement term sheet, and is negotiating a formal settlement agreement to be submitted for approval by Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni, who oversees the litigation.
A Deutsche spokeswoman declined to comment. Lawyers for the investors did not respond to requests for comment.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants distorted prices on the roughly $30 billion of silver and silver financial instruments traded annually, violating US antitrust law. Deutsche is also cooperating with the investor group to release further information regarding correspondences with other banks on the fix.
Spokesmen for HSBC and ScotiaBank declined to comment, saying they could not discuss pending litigation. A spokeswoman for UBS did not respond to requests for comment.