Goldman, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and UBS in $499 Million Equity Lending Settlement


Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and UBS have agreed to pay $499 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit brought by investors who accused them of conspiring to stifle competition in the equity lending market.

The settlement was disclosed on Wednesday in a filing in Manhattan federal court, and requires a judge’s approval. It also covers EquiLend, a joint venture between the defendants.

The investors reached $580 million in settlements with five banks, including an $81 million agreement in February 2022 with Credit Suisse, which UBS bought in June.

As part of the settlement, they agreed to cooperate in the investors’ case against the final defendant, Bank of America.

Spokesmen for Bank of America and UBS declined to comment. The other banks did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Investors have accused banks of conspiring since 2009 to take the equity lending market into the “stone age” by boycotting startup platforms.

They said the banks did this by using their positions on EquiLend’s board of directors to maintain monopolistic control of the market, charging investors excessive fees.

The lawsuit began in August 2017.

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