JPMorgan to Pay $60M to Settle Precious Metals Spoofing Lawsuit

NEW YORK — JPMorgan Chase & Co agreed to pay $60 million to settle class-action litigation by investors who accused the largest U.S. bank of intentionally manipulating prices of precious metals futures and options.

The settlement disclosed on Friday stemmed from sprawling U.S. government investigations into a form of illegal trading in precious metals and U.S. Treasury markets, known as spoofing.

JPMorgan did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement, which covers traders in precious metals futures and options from March 2008 to August 2016 and requires approval by a federal judge in Manhattan.

Lawyers for the investors called the accord “substantively fair,” citing among other reasons the risks of continued litigation.

The payout would recover about 7% of the estimated $915 million of classwide damages, the lawyers added.

JPMorgan declined to comment.

Spoofing is where traders place orders they intend to cancel, hoping to move prices to benefit their market positions.

In Sept. 2020, JPMorgan entered a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay $920 million, including a $436 million criminal fine, to settle U.S. government probes into spoofing in precious metals and Treasuries.

The New York-based bank in September reached a $15.7 million settlement with investors over Treasury spoofing.

Lawyers for the precious metals investors plan to seek up to one-third of their settlement, or $20 million, to cover legal fees.