THE HAGUE, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- A group of European institutional investors has filed lawsuit against Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) for damages of up to 250 million U.S. dollars (183 million euros) over losses during the global financial crisis.
The claim, which was filed Wednesday in the Netherlands, is the first European action of its kind against an investment bank and a rating agency for their conduct prior to the crisis, litigation finance company Bentham IMF said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange on Thursday.
The 16 institutional investors, from Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France, hold RBS and S&P liable for losses they suffered on investments in constant proportion debt obligations (CPDOs), which were rated AAA by S&P.
S&P has already reacted by starting proceedings in the High Court in London, seeking to have the litigation heard in that court.
RBS was not immediately available for comment.
The case follows an earlier judgment by Australia's Federal Court in November 2012, which found S&P had misled 12 local government councils which bought the CPDOs.
The Australian judgement said a reasonably competent ratings agency could not have rated the CPDOs at issue AAA, and the rating was misleading, deceptive and a negligent misrepresentation to investors.
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