December 17, 2016 / 4:48 AM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Goldman Sachs to settle U.S. rate-rigging lawsuit for $56.5 mln

(Adds details on settlement, background on litigation)

By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc has agreed to pay $56.5 million to resolve a U.S. class action lawsuit accusing it and other banks of rigging an interest rate benchmark used in the $553 trillion derivatives market.

The proposed settlement was disclosed in papers filed in federal court in Manhattan on Friday. It came after seven other banks agreed in May to pay a combined $324 million to resolve the litigation.

As part of the deal, Goldman has also agreed to provide lawyers for the plaintiffs evidence including transaction data, documents and witness interviews, which could be used in litigations against the remaining banks, the court papers said.

Neither a spokesman for Goldman Sachs nor a lawyer for the plaintiffs immediately responded to a request for comment late on Friday.

The case is one of many pending in Manhattan federal court accusing banks of conspiring to rig rate benchmarks, securities prices or commodities prices.

In the lawsuit, several pension funds and municipalities accused 14 banks, including those that settled, of conspiring to rig the “ISDAfix” benchmark for their own gain from at least 2009 to 2012.

Companies and investors use ISDAfix to price swaps transactions, commercial real estate mortgages and structured debt securities.

The lawsuit accused the banks of executing rapid trades before the rate was set each day. It said the banks also caused UK brokerage ICAP Plc to delay trades until they moved ISDAfix where they wanted, and post rates that did not reflect market activity.

U.S. and European regulators have also examined whether ISDAfix was set properly. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has secured settlements of $115 million with Barclays Plc in May 2015 and $250 million with Citigroup Inc in May 2016.

To date in the class action, seven other banks have settled, including JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG.

The remaining defendants are BNP Paribas SA, HSBC Holdings Plc, Morgan Stanley, Nomura Holdings Inc, UBS AG, Wells Fargo & Co and ICAP, lawyers for the plaintiffs said.

The case is Alaska Electrical Pension Fund et al v. Bank of America Corp et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 14-07126. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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