Nine banks including Britain's Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland have agreed a settlement of more than $2 billion with US investors over foreign exchange rate rigging claims, lawyers said.

Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and UBS were also part of the settlement, according to law firm Hausfeld - which said the deal was "just the beginning".

It is the latest payout by global lenders which have already been hit with billions of pounds in fines by regulators over the forex scandal.

Hausfeld added that there would also need to be "concerted action" in London to pursue compensation for investors outside the US.

It alleges that the world's largest banks conspired to manipulate prices paid in the $5.3 trillion per day foreign exchange market from 2003.

Those banks involved in the latest settlement have also agreed to cooperate with investors in their ongoing litigation against 12 other firms, Hausfeld said. "The settlement is subject to approval by a judge."

Michael Hausfeld, the law firm's chairman, said it was the result of "lengthy, hard fought negotiations".
He added: "While the recoveries here are tremendous, they are just the beginning.

"Investors around the world should take note of the significant recoveries secured in the United States and recognise that these settlements cover a fraction of the world's largest financial market."

Anthony Maton, managing partner at Hausfeld in London, said: "The extent of collusive conduct in the FX market is now clear.

"US investors will see compensation from these settlements. Others will not.

"There is no doubt that anyone who traded FX in or through the London or Asian markets - which transact trillions of dollars of business every day - will have suffered a significant loss as a result of the actions of the banks.

"Compensation for these losses will require concerted action in London."

Barclays, HSBC and RBS all declined to comment.